Earlier this month, Shout fundraiser Ottilie challenged herself to run the Cambridge half marathon, raising an amazing £500 for Shout in the process.
Ottilie discusses why she chose to run for Shout and how running the half marathon helped her mental health and reminded her that she’s capable of whatever she sets her mind to.
What motivated you to fundraise for Shout?
I think the mental health support provided by Shout is unique and special. Whether you are worried, anxious or even lonely, the ability to send a text and access help in that way is reassuring.
When I decided to run the half marathon, it was easy to decide which charity to run for because I knew I could spread the word about Shout and hopefully raise some money to help them on their mission! I raised £500 and I am so appreciative of all my friends and family who donated.
Everyone has their own mental health journey. For a long time, I used to think of myself as going backwards or forwards, but I realised my mental health journey isn't like that. It's not linear, but it has ups and down and getting through those is what matters.
Running the half marathon showed me my own strength and running it for a charity made the whole experience more special.
Did you find running the half marathon beneficial for your own mental health?
Running is a great opportunity to think, take a break from work or your social life and enjoy the fresh air. In my training, I found myself looking forward to heading out for a couple of hours to press pause on the busyness of everyday life and just get outside!
What were your highlights?
This was my first half marathon. It was a wild ride and definitely not easy, but it was an amazing experience! Nothing beats running through crowds of people cheering you on and watching you challenge yourself.
Knowing that barely any of the spectators knew me or my story, but still cheered me on and helped me to the finish was so special and encouraging. I managed to run the whole distance and I am really proud of myself for pushing through the aches and pains to manage a sprint finish for the last 250m.
Crossing that finish line made me realise I am capable of whatever I set my mind to. Despite some bumps in the road, I still have my strength and determination.
I have to mention the incredible support I received from my family and friends who travelled to Cambridge to watch me complete the challenge - I truly could not have done it without their support (or the hug from my mum on mile 11!)
What would be your one piece of advice to help others make the most of their fundraising activities for Shout?
I found it really helpful to not set a specific goal for what I wanted to reach when fundraising. For me, finishing a half marathon is a huge success and I really wanted to challenge myself and prove to myself that I was able to do it. Adding pressure of trying to raise a specific amount might only make me feel like a failure, when I should feel nothing but pride and happiness!
I didn’t set myself a target, and instead worked hard on my training and updating my social media pages to share my journey. Whatever people chose to donate was an added bonus because I knew I was still sharing Shout’s message.
If you want to run a marathon or half marathon for Shout, we offer discounted places in a number of running events around the country. More info at this link.