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Running changed my life

runningchangedmylife

runningchangedmylife

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Mental marathon challenge cont…

…“I had run as a youngster so set myself the target of running non- stop for a couple of miles to lose weight and get back on track,” says Kevin. “In 2009, while convalescing after reconstructive surgery on my shoulder, I needed a goal to get me through my three-month recovery. So I decided to run the London Marathon.”

A lot of people run marathons for personal reasons: but quite what possessed Kevin to run 52 marathons in a year even he’s not so sure. “2011 was Groundhog year. Every weekend for a year I got up and ran a marathon: 27 of them on treadmills. I had to completely change my mindset and view on goal setting and was determined to raise awareness about the impact mental health can have on someone’s life.”

Kevin certainly did that: not only did people notice his 52 marathons challenge, many nominated him as a 2012 Olympic torch bearer in recognition of his effort.

“Running has changed my life in every single way. I’ve transformed my physique, had some incredible experiences and met some amazing people. Running inspires my work as an online personal trainer and running coach and I give talks on goal setting and preparing for endurance events. I’m more confident, resilient and appreciative of everything I have: running has enabled me to make the most of a situation I never, ever wanted to consider.”

Mental marathon challenge cont…dark days are over

…“I had run as a youngster so set myself the target of running non-stop for a couple of miles to lose weight and get back on track,” says Kevin. “In 2009, while convalescing after reconstructive surgery on my shoulder, I needed a goal to get me through my three-month recovery. So I decided to run the London Marathon.”

A lot of people run marathons for personal reasons: but quite what possessed Kevin to run 52 marathons in a year even he’s not so sure. “2011 was Groundhog year. Every weekend for a year I got up and ran a marathon: 27 of them on treadmills. I had to completely change my mindset and view on goal setting and was determined to raise awareness about the impact mental health can have on someone’s life.”

Kevin certainly did that: not only did people notice his 52 marathons challenge, many nominated him as a 2012 Olympic torch bearer in recognition of his effort.

“Running has changed my life in every single way. I’ve transformed my physique, had some incredible experiences and met some amazing people. Running inspires my work as an online personal trainer and running coach and I give talks on goal setting and preparing for endurance events. I’m more confident, resilient and appreciative of everything I have: running has enabled me to make the most of a situation I never, ever wanted to consider.”

Dark days are over

In 2013 Megan Taylor, 44, was in a ‘low place’ mentally and physically, five stone overweight and reliant on anti-depressants. She was anxious and had no self-confidence.

“I hated going out and had stopped seeing my friends, preferring to stay at home in my PJs,” says Megan who felt she was spiraling down. With her behavior impacting on her relationship with her husband and son, Megan knew she had to change. “The only person who could change me was me. I couldn’t afford the gym and wanted to avoid people: so I decided to try running, even though I hated it.”

“In just eight months, megan lost five stone in weight, went from dress size 20 to 10 and came off her anti-depressants”

At first Megan went running under cover of darkness, very early or late. She worked out a one-mile route around the block and little by little built up from walk/run pace to running the whole distance. She kept adding on and found motivation came in the MapMyRun app where she logged her runs and tracked her progress.

In just eight months, Megan lost five stone in weight, went from a dress size 20 to 10 and came off her anti-depressants, which she had relied upon for 12 years. She now enters races, has mastered the British 10K and aspires to running a marathon. “Running has made me realise anything is possible and I am stronger than I thought,” says Megan. “My husband is now married to a new woman – luckily, it’s me.”

Beware of ladies in lycra

Toby is just a year old. Running didn’t change his life, it gave him life after his mum and dad met at Striders of Croydon running club. Hannah Musk, 34, joined the club in December 2009 and made her move on Rich Lee-Smith a few weeks later while he was stretching after the Wednesday club run. “Rich is much faster and runs in a different group so I had to catch him after the run,” says Hannah in her defense.

Unsurprisingly, Hannah never missed a club run thanks to meeting Rich and her running improved ‘no end’. “Rich spurred me on: he’s a better runner and helps me stay competitive,” says Hannah who honed her combative skills boxing for ten years and playing rugby.

Rich, 42, also played rugby and started running in 2004 as he was looking for a challenging, competitive sport. He wasn’t looking for a life partner though…. “I would not have met Hannah if she didn’t run with Striders and the fact we had a common interest in running definitely helped us get to know each other.“

Love blossomed in the club bar, and Wednesday’s post-run pints soon became weekend breaks running races.

Now with Toby in tow Hannah and Rich don’t run as much as they did at the start of their relationship. They’re regulars at parkrun in Crystal Palace on Saturday mornings with Rich pushing Toby in the running buggy. Hannah is now Social Secretary for the running club and a good deal of their social life revolves around running.

“From a quick chat after a club run to buying a house together and now having a family, running has a lot to answer for!” says Rich

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