21–22 January 2023 109 days to go! Tickets

Amanda Freemantle

My journey in running began 7 years ago when I was in my mid-thirties. I had knee surgery and being immobile for several months meant I’d gained a few lbs. A friend suggested I join the local running club and do their 10-week beginners’ course which would enable us to do a 5km time trial at the end. I remember saying to the coach that I would never do any further than 5km as it was such a long way!

Fast forward less than a year later and I signed up for my first half marathon in Cambridge. I did not recognise myself, from someone who hated running at school to now doing half marathons.

I completed Cambridge half marathon in March 2014 and again said I would never do anything like that again. I have since completed 14 half marathons, 5 marathons and 3 ultras!

I can safely say I have the running bug.

For me running is my escape from daily life and really helps with my mental health as well as my fitness. I have always suffered with anxiety for as long as I can remember but sadly suffered a breakdown 18 months ago. I am incredibly open about my struggles with depression and anxiety and passionate about speaking to others about it and if I can help one other person then I feel I have done my job.

Even during my mental health struggles, I have always run, even if it was just 1 mile each day. Just getting out into the fresh air and focusing on something else just for those short 10-15 minutes really helped and gave me some positivity and routine to my day.