Endurance athlete David J Smith has released a new running eBook - an account of birth and loss via his memorable walking poles. Titled ‘Angel Poles’; it recounts the story of how these poles helped their owner to complete some of the toughest extreme endurance events in the UK, to fundraise for Chesterfield SANDS.
SANDS is the name of the stillbirth and neonatal death charity providing support to parents who have suffered the loss of a baby. David’s grandson Theo was stillborn in 2015.
In September 2016, David ran the gruelling King Offa’s Dyke Race, a 185-mile ultramarathon along the old England-Wales border. He used a pair of walking poles inscribed with the names of 70 babies who were stillborn or died shortly after birth hence the name ‘angel poles’.
Unfortunately, David accidentally left the angel poles on a train after the race. After conventional enquiries failed, he appealed for their return on Facebook and was overwhelmed with the response. His post was shared more than 29,000 times. As a result, he decided to tell the story of these now famous poles but from their perspective. It starts with their arrival in the Nottingham Decathlon store through to assisting their owner (David) in ultras and triathlons and ends with their unplanned departure.
The final section of the eBook contains individual Pole Angel stories, background information about Chesterfield SANDS and the names of the 70 babies including David’s grandson.
The Angel Poles eBook is available to download from Amazon with all proceeds going to SANDS
Photo courtesy of David J Smith.