Ashley and Steven's 'Color me Rad' 5k run

I first decided to raise money for 
Mental Health Research UK after embarking on my own journey with depression and anxiety which is a battle I am still currently fighting. I am fortunate in the sense that I have a great GP who is working with me to find a way we can manage this illness. Unfortunately we have not quite found the correct combination as of yet and it’s an ongoing process of trying different therapeutic interventions and medications until we find something that is successful for myself. It is for that reason that I wanted to raise money for MHRUK. As much as there are many different services available currently, I still feel there is room for improvement in this field. I am of the opinion that more knowledge in regard to mental health can only ever be a good thing. The more we understand it, the better we can deal with it. 

Once I had decided I wanted to raise money for 
Mental Health Research UK, I was trying to think how I could do this. In the end I decided a run would be a good idea, as this too would benefit me. It would help me get much fitter, and I was aware that running and physical activity has been proved to benefit people suffering from depression. When I told my boyfriend about my plans he decided to join me to support me. I couldn't have been more pleased that he decided to do this with me, and am grateful every day for his continued support in not only this, but everything I do. 

The next step we took was to decide what run to do. We agreed on a 5k ‘Color Me Rad’ run in Aberdeen. We chose this because for myself, a 5k was a good start (before this I didn't run regularly). We then opted for the Color Me Rad option because as well as raising money, we wanted it to be fun! We then started up a Just Giving page and began to share this via social media and seek donations from our friends and family.

The run took place on the 6th June 2015. We were concerned at first, as the weather forecast wasn't great - but it turned out to be a beautiful day. Steven and I set off on our run, getting blasted with a different colour after each kilometre we ran. Before long the run was over and we were walking rainbows! We had such an amazing day!

In the end, Steven and I raised a grand total of £695. We had initially set out to raise £150, so we were completely overwhelmed by our final total! As well as donations, we received so many messages of support from our friends and family. We are extremely lucky to be surrounded by such supportive people.

I now try to run 5k at least three times a week and my fitness has improved greatly. I have found a lovely route out in the country which I enjoy running and makes me feel good too, which is great, so I have definitely benefited from this process too. It feels amazing to have contributed such a great amount to such a worthy cause, and I hope to be able to fundraise again in the near future.