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Dame Kelly, who memorably won double gold at the 2004 Olympics, wants to complete her first marathon on Sunday 24 April – raising £250,000 in the process – for Mind and West Kent Mind, The Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, Hospice in the Weald, Myeloma UK and The Pickering Trust.
Kelly joins the 650-strong Team Mind who have chosen to support the charity with their London Marathon efforts. She has been open about her experiences with depression and self-harm and running the marathon gives her an opportunity to support Mind’s work.
Kelly has an incredible four gold, five silver and three bronze medals at Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth level but describes her marathon challenge as “the biggest challenge” of her life. She says:
"I have suffered with depression myself. A lot of young people are now diagnosed with depression and I think, as someone in the public eye, if I could give awareness to the fact it’s a hidden disability almost, then why not."
Kelly has been pounding the British and Middle Eastern turf, for the last few months. She has been stepping up her training and fundraising as race day approaches, and every penny Kelly raises for Mind will be used to support Mind’s campaigning work to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health problems.
Kathleen Miles, Director of Fundraising at Mind, says: "We’ve seen Kelly challenge herself on the Olympic and world stage, but it takes a huge amount of commitment and determination to run a marathon. We’re beyond delighted to have Dame Kelly as part of our incredible running team.
“We wish Kelly all the best for her run and will be keeping an eye out so that we can cheer loudly as she passes our cheer points around the course. Kelly’s support is going to help us to be there so that no one has to face a mental health problem alone.
“Help us get Kelly to smash her £250,000 target to support the work of five incredible charities.”