Posted Friday 30 July 2010
"Why?" My friend asked me as I told him I'd entered the Royal Parks Half Marathon "you hate running".
"Why?" Asked my colleague as she printed off the training schedule and looked at me rather nervously. I have to admit as I got up at 6am yesterday to go on a training run (well training jog would be more accurate) that I was thinking the same thing. I'm not exactly built like Mo Farah, Britain's latest athletic hero, I do a busy full time job and have a family. Finding time for anything is a challenge, let alone a challenge of this scale…
But there's a wave of athleticism in Mind at the moment, with our hard-working staff doubling up as fundraisers and literally supporting the cause every minute of the day - my colleague Becky is training to swim a mile in Lake Windermere (I didn't even get my 50 metres badge – this is serious commitment). Our Media Officer Vicki is cycling to Paris, and Head of Policy Vicki also doing the Royal Parks. So what's going on?
Well, here are five reasons why entering the Royal Parks Half Marathon is a great idea:
- It's on World Mental Health Day – in fact it's 10/10/10-you should do something special.
- It's the culmination of Time to Get Moving, a key part of our Time to Change campaign, with around 50,000 people up and down the country taking part in physical activity, meeting people and learning about mental health.
- Research shows that being physically active, especially outdoors, is good for your mental health.
- It's raising money for Mind – we'll have around 500 runners at this event. A few places are still available from our fabulous events team.
- I've never done a half marathon – the last mass run I did was the Feed the World 10k in 1985 – better do one while I still can!
I've been to a number of London Marathons to watch and thank our Mind runners – now this is serious and fantastic commitment from people who just want to help us. I'm totally in awe of them, but also felt I should play my own small part. Leading from the front if you like – although in this case it's rather more like leading from the back.
And as I was puffing my way around the Bunny Park in Hanwell, I could begin to see the attraction of running, but also the scale of the task ahead of me.....
Paul Farmer is Mind's Chief Executive. He'll be blogging regularly during the run up to the big event. If you want to join Paul and hundreds of other runners at the Royal Parks Half Marathon, you can join the Mind team by signing up here.
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