In 2004, Frances and I visited Japan. We had a lovely time, and fell in love with a stunningly beautiful country and it’s wonderfully welcoming people. The cherry blossoms and sushi helped too. I’ve very fond memories that surface when I revisit our photographs.

The news coming out of Japan after the disasters that have struck has been horrible and sad, in so many different ways. Like many people, I’ve wondered how to help, and also how to show my support for a very special country in a time of need.

Giving money to the Red Cross Tsunami appeal by itself was one of the first things I did when I heard they’d launched an appeal. But this week I became involved (behind the scenes) in the Run For Japan idea. Simply to ask runners to dedicate a run to show solidarity and support to the Japanese people – a nation of great and enthusiastic runners – and donate an amount based on the miles they run.

Not only is it raising money for the Tsunami appeal, almost as importantly it’s helping everybody who participates to make a gesture to show their moral and emotional support to the Japanese people in a time of unprecedented difficulty.

In the first 24 hours it’s already raised thousands of pounds, and received support from famous names like Paula Radcliffe, Noel Thatcher, Mara Yamauchi and Chrissie Wellington.

So, hope you can show your support for Japan by dedicated a run. Please, spread the word too.

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