East Preston runner sets 150k target over 10 months to thank Samaritans and get people talking about mental health

East Preston woman Sophie Badman has challenged herself to run around 100 miles in 10 months to raise money for Samaritans, having struggled with her own mental health.

Sophie has chosen 13 different events to help her reach a total distance of 150k, ending in Berlin with a half marathon on April 5, 2020.

Sophie Badman running in the Worthing 10k

Sophie Badman running in the Worthing 10k

She said: “Having struggled with my own mental health the past year and having the Samaritans there to support me, I would love to give back and raise as much money as I can so they can carrying on doing the great work all the volunteers do around the clock.

“With mental health being more openly spoken about nowadays, it seems the perfect opportunity to reach out and get people talking about the help that is available for others who may be struggling and how listening can be a powerful lifesaving tool.”

The challenge started with the Bognor Prom 10K Road Race on May 19, followed by Vitality London 10,000 on May 27 and Worthing 10km last Sunday.

Sophie said it had been only in the past couple of months that she had really started pushing herself to run 10k more often.

Sophie Badman has challenged herself to run nearly 100 miles in 10 months to raise money for Samaritans

Sophie Badman has challenged herself to run nearly 100 miles in 10 months to raise money for Samaritans

She explained: “I find them a great achievement and challenge at the same time. Worthing was a really nice coastal event, it brought everyone together, people watched outside their houses, cheered us on, handed out sweets en route, supplied water and used hoses to cool us down as it was very hot.

“I enjoy doing the local events the most. I am from Littlehampton and currently live in East Preston, so Worthing is just down the road from me and you get to see people you know and recognise along the way.

“The feeling you get on that last 200 yards when the finish line is in sight and people are cheering you on and shouting your name is the best. The medal I got at the end was worth every ounce of effort to get to that finish line.

“I also did the Bognor 10k a few weeks back, which was again a great local running event that brought everyone together.”

Other events on Sophie’s list are the Night to Remember seven-mile course on June 29, ASICS London 10k on July 21, Littlehampton 10k on September 8, the Great South Run on October 20, K2 Crawley 10k on October 27, Brighton 10k on November 17, Running Grand Prix at Goodwood on December 8, London Winter Run 10k on February 9, Brighton Half Marathon on February 23 and Berlin Half Marathon on April 5.

She said: “I am most excited for the Littlehampton 10k. It will be my first time doing this event and it’s my home town, so will be great to get some home support.

“I have challenged myself to run 95 miles (150k) over the next 10 months. That’s nearly four marathons. I was just going to raise money by completing one half marathon but I decided to push myself and I am up for the challenge.

“With weekly training as well, the total will be well over 100 miles in the next 10 months.

“I chose the Samaritans as they are a charity that is very close to my heart. With mental health on the rise, they are a crucial charity and in my past, they have been there to support me through dark times and I will be eternally grateful for their help.

“Any donation, however big or small, will be greatly appreciated.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sophie-badman1 to donate and help Sophie reach her £500 target.