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 on to meet Melis and the University of Sussex Womens Football Team
Here is what Melis Trimmer, captain of the University of Sussex Women’s Football Club and second-time runner for Grassroots, had to say.
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Melis Trimmer, I’m 21 years old and am currently studying Drama and English at Sussex University. I’m the president of the University of Sussex Women’s Football Club and on the 27th of June, a group of us at USWFC will be running the Brighton Half Marathon for Grassroots.
Why are you running for Grassroots?
We’re running the Brighton half for Grassroots in honour of our friend and fellow footballer, Charlotte Swift, who passed away in April 2020. During Charlotte’s lifetime, she worked closely with mental health charities, so in Charlotte’s honour, we, and Charlotte’s family, felt it was only right to continue her legacy by running for Grassroots. We’re very proud to be supporting Grassroots for a second time running and are hoping to raise even more for this vital cause this year.
“To me, running is a time where I forget everything else and am focusing simply on myself and the challenge that lies ahead of me, it’s an opportunity for me to be the best I can be.”
How long have you been running? What does it mean to you?
Growing up I had a love/hate relationship with running. I felt the same way I think a lot of people feel about running, no one wants to get up and do it but afterwards they feel incredible. Lockdown was when my relationship and mindset towards running changed. I went from seeing it as something I had to do, to really focusing on how great I’d feel after a run. To me, running is a time where I forget everything else and am focusing simply on myself and the challenge that lies ahead of me, it’s an opportunity for me to be the best I can be.
Have you started training for your event? If so, how is it going?
I have started training. At the moment I’m doing three or four runs a week, two/three of these being short ones on weekdays with a longer run on Sunday, the distance on Sunday determining my distance for the weekday runs on the following week, so I’m very gradually increasing my distance by the week. I think one of the most important things I’m learning during training is to listen to my body (but push yourself a little). If you think you can go further one day then go further, and if not another day, then don’t. Some days are better than others, but it’s all part of the process and every day you’re getting closer and closer to your goal.
What are you looking forward to about your run? What are you nervous about, if anything?
I think excited and nervous are two of the most accurate words when describing the half marathon. I will never forget the buzz of it last year, the day was just incredible. Having a huge crowd supporting you, fellow runners smiling away at you, strangers cheering you on, friends waiting at the end, and the feeling of crossing that finish line is like no other, if a little painful! I can’t wait to feel that all again, even if that comes with nerves at the beginning!
Want to join the Grassroots Runners and be part of our community of dedicated fundraisers?