Best-selling author and journalist Bryony Gordon will take on a gruelling endurance challenge in April that will include running two iconic marathons and about 70 miles from Brighton to London in just two weeks.
Gordon – who is a feature writer and columnist for The Daily Telegraph – plans to begin the challenge by taking on the now sold-out Brighton Marathon on Sunday 7 April, and will complete it by crossing the Finish Line at the TCS London Marathon on Sunday 21 April. Between the two marathons, she will run the distance between the two cities.
The journalist is taking on the challenge to raise money and awareness for the charity Mental Health Mates, which she founded in 2016.
The charity is a UK-wide network of volunteer-led peer support groups that encourage people to get moving and talking, enabling people to share their worries, make meaningful connections and enjoy being active outside.
Gordon will be running on her own at both the Brighton Marathon and TCS London Marathon, but friends will join her for varying distances on her journey from Brighton to London. Together they will run and chat, discussing their mental health and living the values of Mental Health Mates: moving and connecting for wellbeing.
She hopes to inspire more people to exercise in January for the benefit of their mental health, by inviting anyone doing any form of exercise to use the hashtag #BryonysBigChallenge on social media.
Gordon said: “I’m hoping that by going out and doing this challenge as a 43-year-old, size-20 woman, who has had a history of depression and addiction, I can show people that if I can do it, imagine what is possible for you?
“We want to drum up support and energy for the challenge. I know the crowds will be there and help me for the Brighton Marathon and TCS London Marathon, but we want people to come out and join in the run from Brighton to London and help celebrate the power of movement for mental health. And maybe they’ll be inspired to sign up for a bigger challenge next year: we’ve all got to start somewhere!”
Having completed the London Marathon twice before, Gordon is excited to start her challenge on the south coast, saying: “Brighton is where we’d all live if we could. I have lots of special memories of the city, and I’m excited to try a new route I don’t know! It will be exactly what I need to kick start my Big Challenge.”
With many people aiming to improve their physical and mental wellbeing in the new year and setting themselves new exercise goals, Gordon’s message to inspire people to keep moving during these wetter, colder months was simple: “No one ever wants to go for a run or do exercise, but no one ever regrets it. So, if you can get out and do it now, imagine how easy it will be at any other time of the year. Also, if you get out and do exercise, you don’t have to go outside again for the rest of the day! That’s my motto.”