The London Marathon is not all about sore feet

Chris Martin (he/him)
Chief Executive Officer
The Mix Marathon Runners

On Sunday April 23rd, I will join 39,000 other people to run through the streets of the capital with the aim of making the 2017 London Marathon the first mental health marathon.

I have run the London Marathon before and I have also completed marathons in New York, Paris and – less glamorously – Brighton. In doing so I have learned two things. Firstly, the London Marathon is the greatest event of its kind in the world. And secondly, that for many people, completing a marathon is about much more than just running.

Running 26.2 miles is no picnic but it is just the tip of the iceberg of the hundreds of hours of training required to make it possible. People take on this incredible challenge for many different reasons. Some want to get fit, some to beat a personal goal, others simply because it’s there. However, the people who really make an impression are the charity runners.

Every charity runner has decided to get off the sofa and do something amazing to make a change in our society. As you run the marathon, you are struck by the thousands of colourful shirts showing the huge range of causes the runners support. It is truly inspiring.

Thanks to the Heads Together campaign led by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry of which The Mix is a part, this desire for positive change will be even more obvious in the 2017 marathon. We want to banish the stigma around talking about mental health forever. To do this, 700 Heads Together runners and many hundred more supporters will be donning blue headbands to change the national conversation and raise vital funds for services like The Mix that work to support people struggling with their mental health.

The marathon is the culmination of a year of campaigning by Heads Together and its eight charity partners. We have made incredible progress. A YouGov survey commissioned by Heads Together has shown that 51% of the nation has had a conversation about their mental health in the last month. We are at a tipping point where talking about our mental health can be as natural as talking about our physical health. Make no mistake – these are conversations that can change and save lives.

Running is not for everyone but that doesn’t mean you can’t get involved in this incredible movement. Come out and support on the day. Watch and share Heads Together videos using the hashtag #oktosay. Follow our runners’ journey using the hashtags #teamheadstogether and #themixheroes. Donate to Heads Together charity partners. Even better, talk to someone about mental health.

Every Heads Together runner in the mental health marathon is doing their bit for this incredible cause. Join us and let’s flip the conversation around mental health forever.


Published on 13-Apr-2017