Doncaster marathon runner who lost six stones is running 200km in a month to raise awareness of mental health issues
A Doncaster marathon runner who lost six stones after fending off his mental health demons is running 200km in a month to raise awareness of mental health issues.
Aaron 27, from Bentley has just raised £290 for mental health charities after running the Manchester Marathon at the weekend.
Aaron has set himself a new target of running 200km in a month to raise money for Doncaster MIND and he hopes to achieve his target by November 9.
He says running helped transform not just his body but his outlook on life as he emerged from a period of depression and lost a third of his body weight.
“I want to raise as much as possible so the younger generation realise they can get help. I want people to know it’s OK not to be OK,” he said.
“I was a bit of a bad lad when I was younger. It took a long time to realise I was depressed and I was going down a wrong route.
“Eighteen months ago I decided to lose weight. I was 20 stones and disappearing down a pit of misery.”
He says at one point he was thinking of “ending it all”.
"I didn’t want to be in this world. I wanted to end it. I wouldn’t want anyone to feel like that.”
He was helped by the Samaritans and spoke to people at Doncaster MIND.
"I just needed those words of encouragement.” He said.
Aaron took up running after a runner friend invited him along.
"I knew I needed to lose weight and this would be the way to do it,” he said.
"I said I wanted to work towards running a marathon. I had it in my head – I have always liked a challenge.
“Running his so good for your mental health. I felt trapped in four walls. Running clears my mind and it is completely free, you can get your shoes on and just go where it takes you.”
“In my past I have made mistakes.
“But a 20-stone man changing his life that proves anyone else can do it not just me. I didn’t think I could do it – I’ve suffered from mental ill-health and now I’ve flipped it into a positive.”
You can support Aaron’s fundraiser here