The Grassroots Runners, which was only started started in 2020, is a growing and thriving community of passionate fundraisers with a common goal – to raise awareness and prevent suicide through running. After many of 2020’s running events not going forward, and a year of waiting for the go-ahead, our runners are more ready than ever to take on the challenge in this year’s upcoming marathons.
We spoke to some of our 2021 Grassroots Runners about how their early stages of training are going, what motivated them to run with Grassroots and what they’re most excited for about the big day!
Read to on to meet Jake Tyler, mental health advocate and author
Here is what Jake Tyler, mental health advocate and author of ‘A Walk From the Wild Edge’ had to say.
Tell us about yourself!
I’m Jake. I’m 35. I’m happy most of the time, but I sometimes get low and anxious. I started talking about the times I get low and anxious after a severe depressive episode I had about 5 years ago where I almost took my own life. I circumnavigated the British mainland on foot immediately after that episode and have written a book all about it. I play guitar in a band called Middle England. It’s probably going to be my last chance to become a successful musician. We formed during lockdown and have currently written 1.5 songs over WhatsApp. I’m probably a lot more superficial than I like to think I am. I care about what everyone think of me way too much. I’m vegan, but I do sometimes get chips from the Belgian chips place on St. James’ Street, even though I’m fairly certain they put butter in the sauce. This will be be the first time I run the Brighton marathon.
“Any person or group of people who devote their time to helping people through feeling that way has my total love and respect.”
Why are you running for Grassroots?
I’m running for Grassroots because I know what it feels like when you decide you’re going to end your own life; it’s not a feeling I would wish on my worst enemy. Any person or group of people who devote their time to helping people through feeling that way has my total love and respect.
“Running a marathon makes me feel alive. It’s a slog, but I like it. I like the feeling I get when I realise my body is capable of more than I think it is.”
How long have you been running? What does it mean to you?
I started running properly 4 years ago. I was one of ten runners cast in a BBC documentary called Mind Over Marathon. We each told our mental health stories, and after six months of training, ran the London Marathon together. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Have you started training for your event? If so, how is it going?
I have started training with my friend Tom, who’s also running the Brighton marathon for Grassroots. On the whole I’d say it’s going well, although I’m currently nursing a slight ankle injury that has meant I’ve had to cancel a few of our runs. Tom’s on top of his game, while I’m still yet to hit my stride. We haven’t fallen out over it yet.
What are you looking forward to about your run? What are you nervous about, if anything?
Running a marathon makes me feel alive. It’s a slog, but I like it. I like the feeling I get when I realise my body is capable of more than I think it is, and I love the atmosphere of a city on marathon day. It’s a day of love and positivity, and you get a medal at the end. I can’t wait for September!
Want to join the Grassroots Runners and be part of our community of dedicated fundraisers?