The first few months of my #run2017 challenge haven’t particularly gone to plan, but for May I am planning something big and I need your help.
What is it?
To commemorate Mental Health Awareness Week from the 8th to 14th of May I am attempting to run 7 marathons in 7 days, culminating with running the Leeds Half Marathon on the 14th (with a 13.1 mile warm up).
Depression is an illness that I have suffered with for over a decade, the severity of the symptoms have come and gone over the years, but it is something that always lingers there. In time I have started to learn how to deal with these symptoms and running is one of the major tools I have for keeping my mental health in check.
In the past couple of years I have run over 40 marathons for Mind and tried to raise awareness through blogging and vlogging about my conditions.
Running 7 marathons in 7 days is the latest fundraising challenge I have set myself, but it is one I’m not looking to do alone.
How can you help?
There are many ways you can help aside from the obvious donating to the course.
Over the 7 days I will be running all over Leeds and the surrounding areas, and I’m hoping that others will join me. If you are someone that has experienced mental health issues I would love to meet you, especially if like me, you use running as a way to keep them at bay. If you only want to run 1 mile that’s fine, or if you want to run 26 then that’s fine too.
Throughout the week I will be filming the adventure, and hopefully, if you are comfortable with it, interview you along the way. I appreciate how personal your issues are and how scary talking about them might be, so if you don’t want to talk then I completely understand. I’m very fortunate in how easy I find talking about my mental health issues, but I realise that this is a rarity.
I’m not just hoping to run 180+ miles, but also to raise awareness of mental health issues and showcase how running has helped me battle through my conditions. If you are interested please get in touch, whether that’s to share your story or to come along and run for a mile or two.
I am hoping that during this week I will be able to make people realise that those suffering with depression, or any other mental health issue, aren’t alone.
When and where?
For a list of when and where I’m running please check the list below.
Monday 8th May
Leeds Running Clubs
Start: Pudsey Leisure Centre, 2PM
Route: Starting in Pudsey, the route will take in the hunting grounds of many of Leeds’ running clubs: Pudsey Pacers, Farsley Flyers, Horsforth Harriers, Abbey Runners, Roundhay Runners, Chapel Allerton Runners and Kirkstall Harriers.
Tuesday 9th May
Ilkley & Baildon Moor
Start: Ilkley, 2PM
Route: Starting a Cow & Calf, the route will take in the best (and worst) of Ilkley Moor: The Tarn, the climb up to White Wells Cottage, Swastika Stone, High Moor Plantation and the Twelve Apostles, with a short detour across to Baildon Moor to make up the miles.
Wednesday 10th May
Leeds and Liverpool Canal
Start: Skipton, 2PM
Route: Starting in Skipton, making my way back towards Leeds along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal passing through Silsden, Bingley, Shipley and Kirkstall.
Thursday 11th May
Leeds Country Way (Northern Section)
Start: Apperley Bridge, 2PM
Route: Covering most of the northern half of the Leeds Country Way from Apperley Bridge to Garforth, taking in the sights of Golden Acre Park and Eccup Reservoir.
Friday 12th May
West Leeds Loop
Start: Calverley, 6PM
Route: Beginning in Calverley, the route will head south down into Pudsey and Farnley, before cutting through the centre of Leeds, climbing up through Chapel Allerton and looping back towards Calverley via Horsforth and Yeadon.
Saturday 13th May
Leeds Park Run Tour
Start: Woodhouse Moor, 9AM
Route: Starting at Woodhouse Moor, the route will start with running the Park Run, before then visiting the sites of the Bramley, Crossflats, Temple Newsham and Roundhay Park Runs, ending in the centre of Leeds.
Sunday 14th May
Leeds Half Marathon
Start: Headrow, 930AM
Route: After (hopefully) making it to the start line in time, after running 13.1 miles beforehand, the Leeds Half Marathon will signal the end of my 7 marathons in 7 days challenge.