Running for my Life
Running, by faith and with endurance, from mental illness to marathon runner, charity campaigner, and brother in Christ

Runners World (February 2017)

In the above picture (left), I had already lost 3 stone, and that really was the beginning of an incredible journey. The pain is there for all to see, yet there was something so special about crossing the finish line! Four years and fourteen marathons later, the desire burns stronger than ever. As I have often said, running has transformed my life, keeping me physically and mentally fit, totally changing my mindset. Few challenges seem insurmountable these days.

And the truth is that if I can do it, then anybody else can; there is nothing special about me other than having had the real driving force of knowing my legs are helping me to raise money and awareness around mental health and suicide.

I am unable to share the full feature here given that Runners World is a subscription magazine - you can get the back issue (above right) at Hearst Magazines. In short, my message is as with all other areas of my life ... be realistic, but be very bold and brave.

I am very grateful to Jon Enoch Photography for allowing me to use some images from the photo-shoot on the basis that this site is mainly for the purpose of fundraising and awareness raising. I am also deeply humbled by Runners World's continued support and willingness to highlight mental health.

It was somewhat of a surprise to get a call from the team at Runners World UK in the Autumn of last year, asking if I would be interested in doing a follow up to a piece that they had done two years previously talking about my journey from nearly 19 stone to just above 11. The new feature would include interviews with four of those who had been involved in the series back in 2014 and would follow their journey to see if they had managed to maintain that weight loss and whether they were still running.

I was happy to do the piece on the premise that it would again make reference to my fundraising and awareness work around mental health, and I really was so grateful when they said that not only could I mention it, but I could wear my Team Mind top for the photo-shoot.

As it was in 2014, the feature was so well received by the running community and, in my case, by many with whom I have worked on mental health awareness. Unsurprisingly, all four of us in the edition have maintained a keen interest (maybe obsession in my case!) in running and maintained a healthy weight.

It really is crazy to think that no more than four years ago I was a shapely 262 lbs (18 stone 10 lbs) and jeopardising my mental and physical health. Just as they did in 2006 after my suicide attempt and Bipolar diagnosis, Mind helped to transform my life. I knew, at the beginning of this journey, that the only way I could commit to it was by attempting the unthinkable and getting people to donate for it ... and believe me when I say that a 10k was unthinkable at that moment in time!!