What did the challenge involve?
Run Every Day January (also referred to as RED January) involves Running Every Day throughout the month of January! The distance you run is up to individuals but I set myself the target of running a minimum of 1k every day.
Why did you do it?
I have close friends and family who have been affected by mental health issues and I know first hand just how important mental health services are to help people when they are experiencing a crisis with their mental health. My role working with children and young people in care has brought me into contact with hundreds of vulnerable and traumatised youngsters over the last 20years. In 2012 I was devastated to learn that a young man I had worked with years earlier had killed himself. He was aged 18years, a care leaver, and felt that he had no other option than to take his own life. He felt that he had let people down, in reality he had been let down. I feel strongly that no person should feel so alone and so without hope, that they see no future for themselves. I ran for everyone affected by mental ill health, but mostly I ran for him.
What was the hardest point?
With a full time job and 2 young children, the hardest thing was finding time to run EVERY single day! This obviously included New Years Day, 4 days when I was away with my family, and any day where it was cold, rainy and I was just too tired to do it! I massively underestimated how tough this would be. I’m not really a runner (although I completed the couch to 5k last year) and my muscles got more than a little fatigued! There were days when I was grumpy at having to run, days when I had to run in icy rain and howling gales but I still ran!
What motivated you to continue?
I am stubborn. When I signed up to do this there was no way I wasn’t going to succeed. I became injured, my muscles and joints objecting to this new relentless running regime but I gritted my teeth and carried on. My fabulous 8 year old also ran 2k with me every Sunday to help me. My family really supported me and my 3 year old gave me a round of applause every time I returned home!
Would you do it again?
No! ha ha, I would like to but as I said my muscles and joints really objected to the relentless nature of this challenge. I am so proud of the fact that I did it, who knew 31 days could feel like such a long time?!
Tell us more about the charity
Mind is a Mental Health Charity that provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. Their services are available to adults or young people. They have local branches called ‘Local Minds’ who support over 513,000 people across England and Wales. Their services include supported housing, crisis helplines, drop-in centres, employment and training schemes, counselling and befriending. They help millions of people each year and don’t turn anyone away.