Amy's fundraising journey - John O’Groats to Land’s End
After receiving what she described as "life-saving" support and advocacy from our Survivors of Suicide (SOS) service in Brighton & Hove, Amy is taking on a whopping 1000 mile run over five and a half weeks to raise money for Rethink Mental Illness. Click this link to donate to Amy's fundraising page.
We caught up with her to find out a bit more about how she's feeling for the challenge and why exactly she decided to support us...
What made you decide to do such a huge run?
I have been running for about 10 years now and have run lots of marathons and even some ultra marathons. I cycled Lands End to John O’Groats 10 years ago so it has always been something that has meant a lot to me. A conversation with a friend about running back the other way sparked the idea and we spoke about it for a long time. I was studying for a degree in nursing at the time and as I came to the end of my course realised I could take some time off between graduating and starting work and so we decided to go for it!
How did you find the training for this challenge?
I run very regularly anyway and it is a very important part of my life and well-being. This year I trained for race to the stones 100km ultra marathon back in July which really helped build the mileage for our John O’Groats to Land’s End challenge. However training is difficult for such an epic challenge as so much is unknown, you don’t know how your body is going to cope running those huge distances day after day and you can’t really train for that.
Are you feeling more nervous or excited as you begin your journey?
A real mixture of both! I am really excited for a big adventure and really seeing the country I live in in such a unique and special way and seeing how far I can push myself physically and mentally. Doing the run in Autumn also means that we will get to see the seasons change as we go which will be really lovely. However, I am super nervous too, there is so much that is unknown - how will my body cope running such huge distances everyday? Will I be able to cope mentally being away from home for 6 weeks? How will I manage spending so much time so close to four other people for so long? What if I get an injury and can’t finish?
This is the biggest challenge I have attempted and the enormity of it feels overwhelming at times! However it is a lesson in taking one step at a time and to keep moving forwards. You can’t think about the whole thing at once, just taking it day by day and mile by mile!
Why exactly did you choose Rethink Mental Illness to raise money for?
I was supported by the Survivors of Suicide service in Brighton during a time that I was severely mentally unwell a couple of years ago. I have struggled with mental illness throughout my life but suffered from a severe crisis back in 2018 and SOS held me up at a time when I couldn’t manage myself. The support I received from Rethink Mental Illness was life saving and I really don’t think I would still be here without them. I chose to raise money for Rethink Mental Illness as a way of giving back in the hope that they can continue to give help to those who need it.
How have you found your fundraising journey with us so far?
People have been so inspired by my journey and have been so generous in donating to my page. I have used social media a lot and contacted local community groups and have been truly touched by the response so far. Even talking about the challenge to strangers as we go along has prompted people to donate which is really lovely.
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