Two weeks ago a team of fantastic runners completed the Brighton Marathon and BM10K. They all did incredibly well, coping brilliantly with the surprising hot weather conditions! Two of those who ran the marathon were previous service users of Justlife. It was a huge achievement for both of them having previously come from really tough situations. One runner, Jon, was sleeping rough two years ago and struggling with mental health issues and substance misuse. He began to get involved with Justlife and attended the Roots to Growth gardening project and started volunteering there regularly.
After some serious setbacks in trying to get private accommodation Jon decided to take up running to cope with stress and to keep him well mentally and physically. Jon caught the running bug quickly and decided to enter the Burgess Hill 10K as part of the Justlife team in May 2016. Since then running has become central to Jon’s life, he’s joined a local running club, the Hove Hornets and regularly runs local 5K, 10K and 10 mile races. Alongside his running Jon has always made it clear how important it is to him to support Justlife and other charitable causes and lots of the events he enters he raises money for charity too. Running has clearly helped Jon through some difficult times; when he was feeling low and like he was stuck in a dead end with housing, he’d go out for a run on the seafront and this always makes him feels so much more positive.At the beginning of this year he finally moved into his own accommodation and decided to take on the ultimate challenge; to run the marathon! In the lead up to the big day Jon was nervous, as he felt like he hadn’t trained enough due to injury however on the day he did brilliantly!This is what Jon says about his amazing achievement: ‘I’m really proud of running the marathon and I’m so inspired to run again next year. I’ve already signed up for next year’s Brighton marathon and I’d love to do the London marathon too. I’m determined to reach my target of a sub 5 hour marathon!” Another of our runners also said this: ‘"I am actually so proud of myself and you know I never utter those words!!" For somebody who usually has incredibly low self esteem this means a huge, huge amount.Hearing stories like Jon’s is so encouraging and spurs us on to meet with more people who are facing similar situations to his two years ago. So far our runners have raised over £5,200 and it’s not too late to sponsor them! If you would like to sponsor Jon or any of our other runners visit our Justgiving page.We already have four people signed up to take part in next years marathon, two of them are previous service users of Justlife! If you are up for a challenge in 2018 and would like to join our running team then drop us an email and we’ll get you signed up!