I decided to run the Hackney half marathon (on 10 May 2015) five weeks beforehand. I have wanted to run a race for a while, but previously convinced myself I would never be able to make it – running long distance was for very skinny, sporty types, not me. However on the day I entered I had a sudden realisation that the only thing stopping me was my own mind! So I went for it.

I chose to run for City and Hackney Mind because
I wanted to run for a charity that I could think of when times got hard during the race and really know would be worth it. Although the official charities for the event were all good causes, I felt that my money would have more impact on a local charity that hadn’t yet established itself as a big fundraiser.

A mental health provider was the most obvious choice, not only because I battled depression right through my childhood until a couple of years ago, but also because two other members of my family experience mental ill-health. City and Hackney Mind provides services that no one should be deprived of and yet are under-funded and under-recognised in comparison to treatment for physical illness. To contribute even a little to changing that seemed like a valuable goal.

On the actual day the Overground train to Homerton was completely packed but everyone was in great spirits, especially those bringing along their families to cheer for them. The race started out well, but it was so hot that by mile 11, close to the Olympic Park, I was seriously flagging and for a few minutes was concerned I might not survive the final two miles.

Thankfully there was an incredible turnout of local supporters and as I rounded the next corner I was propelled back into action by the strength of their cheering.
I was delighted that my 2 hours 8 minutes and 48 seconds of running were over, but the buzz was so good that I'm starting to consider what my next challenge might be!

To others who are considering fundraising for City and Hackney Mind, I would definitely recommend it for the same reasons I did. The team was very communicative with me during the run up to the event and sent me a great t-shirt to wear on the day. I was offered promotion support, so my advice to others would be to think as big as you can and be creative about fundraising.  

If you'd like to run or do something else to raise money for us, please e-mail [email protected]