Friday, 30 June 2017

My First 3 Runs - 12 Runs in 12 Months

Andrew is running to improve student mental health and documents his experience completing the first 3 runs.
- Andrew Morbey

I decided that I’d sign up to one 10km or half marathon each month for a year, as this was a great way of tying my passion for fundraising and sport together. I wanted you to follow me in my journey so here is how I found my first 3 runs.


"All I ask for during these fundraisers, is for people to start talking about depression and mental health."


29th April 2017 – Sheffield Colour Run
I knew what a Colour Run was; a few of my friends in Sydney had done them previously in the past and had seen their photos. But I had never participated in one. Once hearing that there was on in Sheffield, it meant I could meet up with a friend who lives in Sheffield, as well as take part in my first colour run. The run was 5 km starting and finishing on an open-air dance floor with DJ’s and an MC, cheering everyone on and providing the entertainment and music.

I had previously just finished my year of sobriety, so for me, it was incredible seeing people dancing, singing, socialising and throwing colourful chalk all over each other, with no alcohol in sight. I’m not against alcohol, I enjoy a drink every now and then, but being able to dance and laugh with a group of sober strangers was quite a nice feeling.



28th May 2017 – Hercules Festival of Sport
Having decided to run 12 running events in 12 months, I found this one as I was browsing running events. It was based at Merchant Taylors’ School near Watford. There were plenty of people there lining up to participate in either a triathlon, duathlon, cycling, fun run, 5 km run or a 10 km run. I had signed myself up for the 10 km. My aim was to finish with only 3 stops for walking and finish under an hour.

I completed it in 58 minutes with 3 ‘rest walks’ and immediately called my mum back in Sydney. The feeling of accomplishment is quite special, especially beating my targets and surprising my mum with a phone call. However, I ended up going back to my friends place in London and slept on her couch for the day. One event at a time I guess.


18th June 2017 – Hampshire Hoppit Half-Marathon
I was asked to replace my co-worker, Oli, in this run as he had been called to Portugal for a work trip. He had explained that it was a trail run, which meant nothing to me, but there were was a free half pint glass and a medal. I thought ‘a free medal and a half pint glass would be well worth it’. Little did I know that a trail run literally means off road, up and downs hills and potholes that could do some serious damage to someone’s ankles.

I got to the starting line surrounded by happy and motivated people, going for personal best times or just wanting to finish the run. We all knew it was going to be tough, it had already reached 26oC at 11am and within the first 2 miles we reached the ‘Hill of Death’. It was a hill you would associate with rolling or sliding down, not running/walking up. It wasn’t the best of starts, but everyone powered on.

Throughout the run, I was amazed by the Hampshire countryside, the rolling green hills, the crops and the blue sky. It was quite a special run, but fitness and soreness was starting to take over. I got the chance of meeting a few people along the way, talking about other runs they had done or just general small talk on how hot it was. I was lucky enough to make friends with Natalie, a fellow runner/walker whose boyfriend had run off ahead and left her to continue by herself. I told her she had to motivate me to keep running every now and then as she was the experienced half marathon runner, considering this was my first.



When we did finally finish, I had felt a huge sense of accomplishment finishing my first half marathon. Then Oli’s brother, George who had finish well before me, and his parents greeted me and congratulated me. Then knowing that I’ll be putting myself through this 9 more times will be quite a challenge physically and mentally.

A lot of people have called me crazy, but when I tell them why I’m doing it and about my depression, I see them empathise and congratulate me for trying to make a difference. That is all I ask for during this fundraiser, is for people to start talking about depression and mental health.


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