Meet our marathon runners [Part 2]

This October, a brilliant group of Bristol alumni and students will be donning their running shoes and taking on the 2021 London Marathon in support of the University’s Healthy Minds programme.

This programme helps students who are experiencing mental health difficulties by providing them with a bespoke physical activity plan and access to sports facilities. Students are paired up with a mentor – a member of the University fitness team with advanced mental health training – who coaches them throughout their time on the programme.

We caught up with four of our runners to find out how their training is going and why they’re running in support of student mental health.

Maddy Padgett, fourth-year medical student

What made you want to sign up to run the London Marathon in support of Healthy Minds?

I’m Maddy Padgett, a medical student at Bristol currently doing an intercalated master’s in Healthcare, Law and Society. I am running the London Marathon to hopefully increase the visibility and impact of the fantastic work that Healthy Minds carries out every day at this university. This past year I have been lucky enough to get to know the programme more personally and really appreciate its potential for huge positive change in our community.

What is your prior running experience?

I am not going to pretend to be a fantastic runner quite yet! I know that the next few months are going to involve a lot of hard work both mentally and physically, but I am so looking forward to many more muddy and hilly adventures round this beautiful city. If I can do them while also supporting a programme that I believe is important to life in Bristol, than I can truly think of no better use of my time.

Favourite place to run?  

Brighton seafront before a storm

What is your top running track?

Juice by Lizzo (you can’t not be happy when Lizzo is playing!)

Lucy Delamere (LLB 2020)

What made you want to sign up to run the London Marathon in support of Healthy Minds?

I have always wanted to run the London Marathon and after being a student sport activator I saw first-hand the positive impact that Healthy Minds has on students’ lives at Bristol. I have been so excited to take my love for running to the next level with this challenge and I wanted to complete the marathon alongside supporting my own University. I wanted to be part of a team that was passionate about the same cause and I can’t wait to finally run the marathon this October!

What is your prior running experience?

I have run three half marathons including Bristol and Bath, and spent many years running in athletics clubs growing up – but this will be my biggest challenge yet!

Favourite place to run?

Along the Turia River in Valencia.

Liam McGrath (BA 1992)

What made you want to sign up to run the London Marathon in support of Healthy Minds?

In the 21st century, mental health is becoming increasingly important in people’s lives. I’m acutely aware of this from my time in the military and the number of friends that now suffer from mental health issues and some who have, sadly, taken their own lives. I therefore wanted to make a difference and support a programme like Healthy Minds.

What is your prior running experience?

I’m not built to be a runner but have run from my teens and into my days in the Infantry (although this was often with a heavy pack on!). Since leaving the army, I’ve used running to keep fit and keep challenging myself. I’ve run several half marathons, a couple of marathons and have also completed the Gurkha Trailwalker 100km Ultra Marathon.

Favourite place to run?   

Somewhere flat! Seriously, I love the Ashridge Estate that is on my doorstep in Berkhamsted. It is lovely, wooded parkland with plenty of trails.

What is your top running track?  

That is a tough one as I have so many! If I had to pick one then it would be ‘Stay too Long’ by Plan B.

Bethany Marris (BA 2020)

What made you want to sign up to run the London Marathon in support of Healthy Minds?

I have always wanted to take on a physical challenge in support of a mental health charity and having the opportunity to do the London Marathon was impossible to pass up. As a student myself, I felt extra passionate about the Healthy Minds cause.

What is your prior running experience?

I have been running regularly for the last five years or so. I started running to make up for the exercise I was missing out on from extra-curricular activities at school and ballet once I’d left school. It quickly became a true hobby. There’s little I feel relieves stress and anxiety more than going on a jog.

Favourite place to run?  

I don’t get to go here regularly, but my favourite place to run is between the fells and around the lakes in the Lake District.

What is your top running track?

‘Movin Too Fast’ by Romina Johnson.

To support our runners head to their team JustGiving page.

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