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 Steven Carter-Bailey, Great British Bake Off star
Here is what Steven Carter-Bailey, a Bakeoff star and passionate Grassroots supporter had to say.
“Grassroots do such an amazing job and I will do all that I can in the pursuit of suicide prevention.”
Tell us about yourself!
My Name is Steven, I’m 37 and originally I worked in marketing, but now I also work as a cake designer, teacher, writer, judge and presenter. I came 2nd in the 2017 Great British Bake Off and won the New Years’ Day Bakeoff, and since then I have tried to use my large following to do good work. I live in a small town North of London called Tring; I have 5 brothers and a sister (she’s running the marathon with me).
Why are you running for Grassroots?
Grassroots do such an amazing job and I will do all that I can in the pursuit of suicide prevention. Sadly, my sister and I have seen the direct effects of suicide and whilst we are unable to help those who have passed, we will do all we can to help someone else suffering.
“Running was never a way to exercise, but a way to redirect my focus and attention away from the bad in my life – 11 years later and my mental health is the best it’s ever been!”
How long have you been running? What does it mean to you?
I started running in 2010 as a form of escapism from my own mental illness. It was free, I didn’t need a PT and I could do it whenever I wanted to. I started running 1k, then 2k and it grew from there. I ran three half marathons in 2020 and I’m addicted to that post run euphoria I get, even if it’s just a quick 5k around the block. Running was never a way to exercise, but a way to redirect my focus and attention away from the bad in my life – 11 years later and my mental health is the best it’s ever been!
Have you started training for your event? If so, how is it going?
I’ve been doing between three and five 6-8k runs per week to keep myself limber, but we started pushing ourselves last week with a 12k hill run, followed by a 13k trek the following day – I took 7 days off after that! Slow and steady is going to win this race for me.
What are you looking forward to about your run? What are you nervous about, if anything?
I’m looking forward to training and running with my sister. She’s done this before and we train well together. Her determination and strength is addictive, and hopefully will spur me on. I’m terrified of not finishing, but I will keep going no matter how long it takes me!
Want to join the Grassroots Runners and be part of our community of dedicated fundraisers?