Meet Team Heads Together 2019: Why Ali’s running the London Marathon

"I was inspired by the runners in last year's London Marathon when watching from the sideline."

Why are you running the marathon?

I entered the ballot (despite having no prior experience to running) because I was inspired by the runners in last year’s London Marathon when watching from the sideline. Little did I know that I would actually gain a place to run in the London Marathon this year! It’s also great to set a challenge and better myself at something I’ve never done before, especially when it’s for a great cause.

Why are you running it for Heads Together?

I feel that mental health care is usually overlooked and you can’t find support or diagnosis as easily as you would with your physical health. So I wanted to fundraise for a charity that supports and educates us on our mental wellbeing, that helps to normalise conversations and break down the daunting feeling of addressing worries for yourself or someone you know. I was indecisive about which mental health charity to race for, then realised Heads Together partners with well-known and smaller charities that all have a similar mission in mind, so it was the perfect choice for me to run for Heads Together.

What are you most excited about on race day?

Spotting my friends and family dotted around the London course. I also want to witness the amazing crowds as a runner because I’ve heard they are incredibly supportive and give you the energy to keep going.

What’s keeping you motivated?

The thought of crossing the finish line and proving to myself that months of gruelling training would be worth it!

What’s your top tip of advice for a fellow marathon runner?

Don’t eat experimental foods on the days before a big run – stick with what you know works best for you to avoid problems during your runs. Also remind yourself that completing 5K, 10K, half marathon distances are also incredible achievements during your training for the full marathon!

Learn more about Ali’s story here.