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Radhika Balu avatar
Radhika Balu

Radhika's Virgin London Marathon 2019 page

I am trying to raise money for Mind In Harrow because they provide amazing support for patients / carers

97 %
£1,457.42
raised of £1,500 target
by 45 supporters
Donate

Mind In Harrow

One in four of us will have mental health issues at some point in our life. Mind in Harrow helps Harrow residents who experience poor mental health towards mental health recovery. We also strive to dispel the stereotypes and myths surrounding mental health.

Charity Registration No. 1067480

Story

Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.

I am a GP working in Harrow and I was given an incredible opportunity to run the London marathon on 28th April 2019. It was a last minute prize draw by one of the sponsors and I had mistakenly read it as London 2020 :-)). When the email came through in the last week of January 2019, I wasn’t sure how a non-runner like me could ever do something like this in less than 12 weeks. I tried running but couldn’t sustain it for more than an hour .. I went back to the drawing board and revised my strategy. I decided to use my strength of walking to my advantage. So , I decided to run/walk as much as I could. Even  if I walked at a consistent speed, It might take me longer than 7 - 8 hrs.. I wasn’t sure if this was do-able for a marathon novice like me. 

Everytime I trained , I fell short of my training target. I thought, it is better to quit rather than fail miserably.. Those were the moments when I remembered the words spoken by my father, ‘ Where there is a will, there is a way’ and ‘ what you think, so shall you become’. I just decided to do my best and put one step in front of another. 

The day came and I felt unprepared like the many thousands who ran the marathon. My fellow runners gave me valuable advice and motivated me with their tips. I started the race with trepidation and I could run only for the first 1 hr. I slowed down to a walk , I could see everyone running past me.. I felt like an outlier and I wasn’t sure what I was trying to do. I felt ashamed that I was walking .. I then realised that this journey is as unique as my life journey, it doesn’t matter  how fast I go.. It matters how enjoyable it is. The journey is more important than the destination. I then opened my eyes and heart to everything around me - the stories depicted on the T-shirts of my fellow runners,  onlookers cheering and offering anything that they can - be it the jelly babies or hi-fives, the volunteers who had come out in droves to support us and the kind runner who gave me some squash at the last minute. I felt so moved when marathon supporters  were still present 7 hrs after the race had begun.. I couldn’t help smiling and becoming joyful. I had one of the best times of my life - waving / blowing kisses / smiling in the last 5 km.. I danced across to the finish  line at 7 hrs 15 minutes.

It had been an epic journey and I had wanted this journey to be about mental resilience and wellbeing. As a GP and mental health lead, I could see the positive impact of work done by ‘Mind’- be it in providing information ,to patients and carers, being their advocate and helping them through to recovery.

This is how the money raised will help them :

  • £180 can pay for an outing for 12 people, reducing their isolation and increasing their confidence and enjoyment of life. For many, it is their first human contact for days
  • £360 can fund two social activities – providing respite for over 30 people
  • £1000 can help support our helpline for 10 days
You can read more about it on https://www.mindinharrow.org.uk/index.asp

I hope that you will join me in helping this organisation to reach out to more people in Harrow and contributing to a ‘ Resilient Harrow’

Radhika xx




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