From Just Giving:

Hi, my name is Alan. I’m 42 and as far back as I can remember, I have always had issues with my mental health. I’ve tried self medicating with drugs and alcohol and I’ve tried anti-depressants from the doctor, but neither have worked for me.

The things that have helped me, were being able to talk openly and honestly, be that with friends, family or counsellors.  I’ve spoken to them all over the years, and every conversation has helped. Also, physical activity, has and does, play a huge role in keeping me mentally well. 

Over the last few years I have got more and more into long distance running. I nearly always run on trails and footpaths. Being close to nature and out “whatever the weather” makes me feel peaceful and content. The mental challenge to keep going when it hurts and I’m tired is similar to those days in life when I want to quit and hide from the world. Ultra running to me is just like life, and its made my life so much better. Its taught me to dig inside myself when I’m feeling empty, and that I have more to give than I ever thought I did. 

With this in mind, I have decided to attempt to run the Offas Dyke Trail, from North to South on the 21st June 2021. Its 177 miles and with an elevation gain of nearly 30,000 feet its the equivalent of going up Mount Everest from sea level and then back down again.

I want people to be aware of how exercise and running can help, and how we are capable of more than we think. Please give to my chosen charity CALM. They do so much to help people that struggle with mental health issues, and now more than ever so many of us are in need of support and someone to talk to

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement against suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. Our goal is a life less miserable for you, your friends, your family and for all men. CALM PROVIDES – A free and anonymous helpline 0800 58 58 58 and webchat (5pm-12am daily) staffed by trained professional. Bereavement support. A website CALM Homepage – Campaign Against Living Miserably | CALM, the campaign against living miserably, is a charity dedicated to preventing male suicide, the biggest single killer of men aged 20-45 in the UK ( with inspiring content. Campaigns tackling stereotypes of masculinity, suicide and mental health. Help us save lives.