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!
Lucy Raemers is our London Marathon star! Read on to meet her
Lucy Raemers is the co-founder of the Ben Raemers foundation, and is running the London Marathon this year. Here’s what she had to say.
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Lucy. I’m originally from Essex, a seaside town called Walton-on-the-Naze where I spent all of my summers in the grey murky sea but having the best care free time with my friends, living with my mum and three older brothers in a tiny flat in what felt like a constant war zone but with the most unconventional beautiful family feel. When I was 16 I moved to Ipswich with my mum, my brothers all ended up moving out and I began my hairdressing career that stayed with me for 10 years along with my best friend, Goodie, who’s running the Brighton half with me for grassroots! I now live in London with my cousin who’s my guardian angel and twin and our beautiful friend Kieran. My focus is supporting people and mainly men in their battles against mental health through a foundation I helped set up called The Ben Raemers Foundation in memory of my brother Ben, who I lost to suicide in May 2019.
Why are you running for Grassroots?
One of the main aims we wanted to do in the foundation was deliver suicide awareness training to as many professionals in the skateboarding industry as possible. Grassroots aligned with this goal and helped us deliver our first batch and start the movement we set out to do which was incredible! They were amazing and seeing the training happen together made a part of my grieving heart heal, something I didn’t think would be possible. Being picked to run for Grassroots is a tiny thank you to all the amazing work they do in saving lives everyday. A few miles on foot is the least I can do (26 is a few right!?).
“I became addicted to the fresh air, these natural happy endorphins to start my day and seeing my fitness levels rise.”
How long have you been running? What does it mean to you?
I’ve been running since October 2019. When I lost Ben my mental health deteriorated and I hit a seriously low point. My cousin who I live with, Chess, is like a super woman with exercise and always said exercise is what’s kept her headspace peaceful. Seeing her just throw her running shoes on and going, I thought its something that might help me. I asked Chess if she would come for a run with me, it was more of a crawl but I felt amazing after. Since then I became addicted to the fresh air, these natural happy endorphins to start my day and seeing my fitness levels rise. Running is My form of medication in the morning, to help cope with the continuous grieving battle over Ben and for me, to keep my headspace peaceful.
Have you started training for your event? If so, how is it going?
I have indeed. My friend Scott who is married to my best friend, Goodie, he’s an absolute machine with running. He’s an aspiring coach who is running 100+ miles a week and has taken on the task of giving me a training plan and helping me through to the finish line. He did the London Marathon in 2 hours 37 minutes (my keyboard even made a shocked sound when I typed it) so I’m super chuffed he’s training me. I’ve been running three times a week and today Scott has got me doing interval running which will be fun. Prior to Scott’s help I was just gunning it and feeling like I couldn’t breathe but now that he’s sorted my pace out it’s been great!
“To have the chance to do it for Grassroots and raise some money to help them continue saving lives from suicide was definitely meant to be, for them, myself and Ben.”
What are you looking forward to about your run? What are you nervous about, if anything?
I’m really excited about the Brighton half to run alongside Goodie. Since losing Ben, herself and my cousin, Chess, have quite literally kept me alive. I wouldn’t have survived the past few years and got to the place I am now without the continued love and support. I’m so excited to be a part of the London Marathon and say I’ve ran it. 26 miles is a seriously long way and a crazy achievement. To have the chance to do it for Grassroots and raise some money to help them continue saving lives from suicide was definitely meant to be, for them, myself and Ben. Being totally honest, I’m nervous about needing the toilet! Surely everyone gets nervous about that right? Making sure I go before I set off is a must haha!
Want to join the Grassroots Runners and be part of our community of dedicated fundraisers?