Running for MIND
A local parent, Matt Newman, who I see most days on school runs ran in the London Marathon yesterday in aid of the mental health charity MIND. I saw him today proudly wearing the medal he gained around his neck. It’s beautiful. He was pleased to say he had finished in 5 hours 50, within his target of 6 hours. I asked Matt if he would like to write a little for my blog, explaining his journey, and here it is: (thank you very much Matt, and extremely well done on your achievement)
I started running in January 2017. After many years of running pubs my family and I moved to a much more rural location and we had a huge change in lifestyle. I became the stay at home Dad as my fiancé was offered her dream job. It was a struggle at first adapting to my new role in the family in a totally different environment to what I was used to. I still wanted to do something for me so I took up running! I had been piling on the pounds for a good few years and I was unhappy with the way I looked. I knew my health was at risk and I wanted to look and most importantly feel better! At school I had always enjoyed running and it was one of the few things I was actually any good at when I was a kid.
Was it hard at first?? OF COURSE!! I hated it! After each run I felt sick, I ached the next day and my legs felt like lead but after each run the wind down time became less and every mile became easier each time. I soon began to feel the benefit. My fitness was most definitely improving and I was beginning to shift the weight. I also felt that after each run I had a clear head. Being at home all day with 2 young boys was tough, I was facing challenges I’ve never had to face before. Going out for a run enabled me to almost press the reset button after a busy day with my boys.
On 11th May 2017 I was called home from work early by my fiancé. She had received a call that was life changing. Her sister had been killed and the family were devastated. For 2 months we went through hell before the body was released. I watched as my fiancé slipped further and further away emotionally and there was nothing I could do. Running through this period of time enabled me to keep focused, to not let this terrible tragedy ruin our family and helped me to stay strong. I needed to set myself a new target!
My first big event was the Stroud half marathon in November 2017. I set a target of 2hrs 30mins but to my surprise I finished in 2hrs 15mins. I have honestly never felt more proud of myself. The support from friends and family was astonishing and I couldn’t have kept the focus I needed with out them. I had also raised just over £500 for my eldest sons school which was fantastic.
I hadn’t told anyone but a few weeks before Stroud I had applied for a ballet place in the London Marathon, not thinking for one second I would get in but I did. I kept it to myself until I had completed the half and then told everyone the news. Again the support loved ones showed was overwhelming. I wanted to use the Marathon to make a difference. My sisters fiancé had previously been supported by MIND, the mental health charity so I contacted them and asked if I could raise money in their name. Of course they said yes!! My fiancé’s parents and her niece and nephew were thrilled.
I needed something before the Marathon, one final challenge before the London. I applied for the Gloucester 20; 20 miles around Gloucester to be completed in under 4 hours. I’m pleased to say I completed the 20 miles in 3hour 30mins and crossed the line with another lady that was raising money for MIND which was fantastic.
I set a target of £1000 to be raised for London and I am pleased to say with 1 day to go I have reached the target!! But I don’t want to stop there! The more I can raise the more people MIND can help support through difficult times.
Nerves have most definitely started to set in but with the emotional attachment to the charity, the support form my friends and family and knowing my sister in law will be looking down on Sunday filled with pride will keep me going and enable me to succeed.
It’s not to late to donate : please visit https://virginmoneygiving.com/
Thanks Matt, and good luck for your next running challenge….once your legs have recovered!