On the 12th April this year I ran the Paris Marathon to raise money for City and Hackney Mind. I was determined to finish three marathons before my 30th birthday later in April; so after running Edinburgh and Amsterdam’s in recent years, Paris completed the trio.

I decided to raise money for City and Hackney Mind for several reasons. I have a close family member and friends who have suffered from mental health problems, and over the years I have become increasingly aware of how hard it can be to find help. The NHS does a wonderful job, but in some areas they seem unable to provide adequate help. I wanted to help raise money for a local charity who are offering an important service to my community and also doing such great work to remove the negative stigma often associated with seeking mental health treatment, described as 'the last great taboo'.

I wanted to help raise money for a local charity who are offering an important service to my community


The marathon itself was exhilarating, emotional and exhausting! The first 13 miles felt good, the sun was shining on one of the world’s most beautiful cities, the crowds were cheering and I think a combination of adrenaline and continuous dance music helped carry me along. About mile 18 it felt really tough; the heat was intense and at points it felt like running in a giant sauna! Somehow I managed to keep running and finished in 4 hours 10 minutes.

I think anyone who has completed a marathon can relate to the overwhelming emotion you feel crossing the finishing line - a combination of relief at having made it, total exhaustion and the silent camaraderie you experience from running alongside complete strangers for 26 miles.

Running for City and Hackney Mind helped motivate me throughout my training right until I crossed the finish line
While there is always a sense of satisfaction and achievement in completing a sporting event for yourself, to do it for a charity or organisation which you feel strongly about enhances the sense of achievement.

I’m pleased to say that running for City and Hackney Mind helped motivate me throughout my training right until I crossed the finish line.


If you're interested in running, or a different fundraising event, for City and Hackney Mind, get in touch by emailing [email protected]