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Exercising Out of Crisis

Jamie is a full-time window cleaner and a part-time ultra runner. In March of this year he will be taking on the ‘496 Challenge’ to raise money for Revival Kent.

The challenge will see him run the number of miles that corresponds to each day of the month (1 mile on 1st, 2 miles on 2nd, 3 miles on 3rd and so on), totalling 496 miles in 31 days. This will involve six back-to-back marathons and ultra-marathons, finishing with a 31 mile run on 31st March.

After a 15-year corporate career in London, Jamie started to suffer with his mental health. When he left his job in the city, he found himself spiralling into depression with no clear idea of who he was or what he should be doing with his life.

Angry, frustrated and increasingly unhealthy and unhappy, he started to seek help. But it was after receiving a punchbag and boxing gloves as a birthday present from his partner, he started to notice how exercise was improving his physical and mental health.

So Jamie decided to pick up an old love; he put on some trainers and started to jog around his home town of Faversham. After a slow start, not being able to run further than a mile or two, he quickly realised that running gave him the focus that he had been struggling to find.

Understanding that the corporate environment was toxic to his own mental well-being, he started a local window cleaning business and dedicated his spare time to running.

This led to the discovery of the little known world of ultra-running (any race further than a 26.2 mile marathon), and he was hooked. In the last couple of years has competed, and achieved top 10 finishes, in trail races ranging from 50km to 108km, as well as various challenges to raise money for charity including running 14 half marathons in 14 days.

Running is now embedded as a part of his life, and he and his partner – a yoga teacher – both strive to teach their children the value – and joy – of movement. With the recent addition of a rescue dog, Jamie has a running partner in training, and his mental health is thriving.

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