Robin's Story: Running the London Marathon in memory of my mum
I chose to run for the Mental Health Foundation because this year marks 10 years since the death of my mum, Dawn Owen.
On a few occasions she experienced the more extreme aspects of mental ill health such as psychosis & borderline schizophrenia. At the age of 50, she died of a sudden and completely unexpected heart attack.
A decade later I decided to do something special to pay tribute to my mum. Although a keen footballer, I am not an avid runner. However there was something about the challenge of running the London Marathon and raising awareness about mental health that made perfect sense.
Not only did I want to run for those that suffer from mental ill health but also for those people that often go unmentioned; the people who provide care & support to those in need. My dad is a great example of this. He spent over 20 years looking after and caring for my mum when other people may have simply walked away.
I was delighted when the Mental Health Foundation made me part of their marathon team for 2013. I began a 26-week training programme to help me get to grips with the massive endurance involved with running a marathon. Previously I had only run 10km!
Then I started to focus on my fundraising. After the initial buzz of gaining a place and the instant donations that go with that I was finding it hard to stand out from the crowd.
Every week on my Facebook there is someone posting a link to some kind of fundraising page & I decided that I would have to do more to get people's attention. This is when I came up with IMPRESSUARY.
Every single day in February I decided to post a video of different impressions of celebrities, movie stars & moments from classic films. The 28 videos were shot in my bedroom, edited by me & then uploaded to YouTube.
The response I received was fantastic as I saw my fundraising amount rise & rise, as well as the view counts on the videos. Over 3,000 people watched the Impressuary videos in the first 2 months! This also gained the attention of local press such as Newspapers & BBC Radio Cambridgeshire who featured me in a interview on their afternoon show.
It has been a great challenge to both train for a marathon & come up with an innovative way to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation. They have supported me throughout & I look forward to the climax of all of this on 21st April when I finally run the London Marathon, for my Mum."