I have wanted to write this post for YEARS!

A couple of weeks ago I received an e-mail from Mind, a mental health charity in the UK, offering me a place on their team for the 2021 London Marathon.

I couldn’t take them up on their offer soon enough. I paid my registration fee and confirmed my place as soon as possible and I haven’t really thought about much else since.

En route to the start line of the Vitality 10k London run in 2016 which is also the finish line of the marathon

Running for Mind

Readers of this blog and people who know me personally will know that this is a cause and charity I am very passionate about. I’ve had my own struggles with my mental health for years, first becoming aware of them in 2012. It took until May 2014 for me to start to act on them and even then it wasn’t a choice – my hand was forced.

Fast forward two years and there were visible changes to my life and mental health because I got the help I needed. So for the first time ever I went public with my struggles when I cycled from London to Paris for Mental Health Foundation in 2016.

London to Paris Cycle – September 2016

When I announced I was taking part in the cycle I wrote a post on my former travel blog about my struggles from start to what was present day in 2016 and the feedback was huge – far greater than any other post.

After the cycle I kept the travel blog running for another 18 months until the end of a summer backpacking trip around South and North America, after which I took the blog offline and set up Life of Mind, which has been online since May 2018.

I’ve applied for a London Marathon place with a number of charities every year since and I am over the moon to have been offered a place in the 2021 event with Mind.

It’s no secret that the lasting impact the coronavirus pandemic on our mental health is going to be huge, therefore the services of Mind are going to be needed more than ever and I’m looking forward to raising as much as I possibly can for a charity I’m so passionate about.

Fundraising

The aim is to raise at least £2000 but I want to raise more. The tricky thing at the moment is that due to coronavirus restrictions issued by the government I can’t plan any fundraising events that would involve mixing households or large groups/mass gatherings.

Which is annoying because I do have plans for those types of events lined up but sadly this is the world we are living in at this moment in time. It’s out of my hands so the best thing I can do is adapt until we are given a green light to go ahead with such events again.

Therefore in the meantime all I can do is adapt. Certainly for the first part of 2021 the tier system we’re currently in will be in effect so i’ll have to find ways of taking my fundraising online for a few months, and I already have a couple ideas of how to do this up my sleeve.

Training

I’m not exaggerating when I say I have wanted to run the London Marathon for years. My name has been in the ballot every year since turning 21 and as I mentioned earlier I have applied for a charity place every year since 2018.

I’ve taken part in running events a few times over the years. 10ks in central London and the Olympic park as well as the Hackney half marathon in 2019 which I completed in 1 hour 55 minutes.

Success in the Hackney half marathon in 2019

A formula to calculate your target marathon time is double the half plus 15 minutes which takes me to 4 hours 5 minutes. That is definitely a good time to aim for but I want to trim some of that off, aiming for somewhere between 3:45:00 and 4:00:00.

It took eight weeks worth of training to run a sub two hour half marathon and there was no way I could carry on at that pace for another 13.1 miles, and I certainly can’t run a marathon at this moment in time – so I have a lot of training to do.

When taking part in these sorts of events in the past I have never struggled to stay motivated and take the training seriously, and I expect that to be the same with the London Marathon and then some. My discipline is going to have to be huge.

I think this is because during my time in New Zealand in January 2016 I completed the Tongariro Crossing, a 19.4k day hike through a national park near Taupo on the North Island. The hike was pretty tough but I opted for the additional 3 hour volcano climb to make it even tougher and it killed me.

Above: ‘Ready’ for the challenge of climbing the volcano behind me.
Below: Physically shattered at the top.

I had an amazing day on the hike and i’m really glad I did the volcano climb but that feeling of being so physically unprepared for something is a feeling I don’t want to experience again and it’s something I have avoided ever since.

In the years that followed I trained hard for the London to Paris cycle and completed it successfully, I trained hard for the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu, arriving in Cusco four days early to acclimatise, and completed it successfully and I trained hard for eight weeks leading up to the Hackney half and completed it successfully.

But I know the London Marathon will be harder than any physical challenge I have done before. If it was easy everyone would do it so I need to show respect for the challenge and start training sooner rather than later, especially if I want to achieve my target time.

And that’s exactly what I plan on doing. Since confirming my place I’ve started running 5k a few times a week and will make changes to my diet and gym routine accordingly and build from there. I still have a long way to go but I’m ready to begin this journey.

2021 London Marathon

My determination to run the London Marathon successfully and raise as much money for Mind as possible is so high. I’m so full of gratitude to have been given the opportunity to do so by the amazing people involved with the charity and I can’t wait to get started with everything.

Fundraising Page – https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JordanCamp
My new Instagram page dedicated to my London Marathon journey – @26.2MilesForMind
Strava – https://www.strava.com/athletes/9589825
Mind Website – https://www.mind.org.uk

I’M RUNNING THE 2021 LONDON MARATHON FOR MIND!

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