Calderdale walkers take on world’s first 100,000 person marathon for mental health

Three walkers are ready to step up to the challenge and walk 26.2 miles in aid of a Calderdale mental health charity.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 7:00 am
Anneleise, Louise and Jim

On Sunday, October 3, Anneliese, Jim and Louise will take on the first ever 100,000 person Marathon: this year’s official Virgin Money Virtual London Marathon and walk Healthy Minds’ own marathon route through Calderdale.

Team Healthy Minds are just three of the 50,000 participants taking part in the virtual event.

Another 50,000 will run the traditional Virgin Money London Marathon from Blackheath to The Mall. Instead of heading to London, the team will be walking from Todmorden to Halifax, passing through the local communities that Healthy Minds work with and provide for.

Marathon walker Anneleise has found walking to be one of the best things for her mental health throughout the Covid pandemic: “Over the years I have found walking is great for the mindset.

"The last 12 months have been tough for all mentally. Working from home I suffer some days more than others, but I know that if I have a bad day a walk at the end of the day helps to clear my mind.”

All three team members are finding time in their busy lives to train as much as they can.

They less than two weeks left before they step up to the challenge.

The team believes their hard work is worth it to help Healthy Minds support the people of Calderdale.

Healthy Minds provide services for a range of wellbeing needs, including peer-support groups, activities, courses, welfare rights advice, education projects for young people, specific support for BAME communities and dedicated projects working on Covid mental health recovery.

Nicola, a Healthy Minds project worker explains Healthy Minds’ approach:

“We work with a social model to mental health and wellbeing, rather than a medical model. We don’t look at what is 'wrong' with someone and try to fix it. We ask - what are your needs and how do you want to address them?”

“We don't concentrate on people’s deficits. We help people become self-empowered with the tools to build resilience to life’s challenges”

On the big day, the marathon walk for mental health will start at Healthy Minds Todmorden allotment, will continue to Hebden Bridge, through Sowerby Bridge, Elland, Brighouse and finally finish at Woolshops Shopping Centre in Halifax at around 5pm.

The ‘Finish Line’ will appear in the centre a few days before and local shoppers will be invited to decorate it with ribbon for a small donation. Healthy Minds hope the beautiful wooden archway, surrounded by planters, and decorated in ribbon by local people, will be a fitting finish for the gutsy walkers.

Jim, volunteer and recently recruited as a member of Healthy Minds’ Recovery and Support team hopes to raise hundreds of pounds for the charity:

“As part of my involvement with Healthy Minds, I am also a walk leader for some of their monthly ‘Wellbeing Walks’, what better way to promote Healthy Minds and celebrate the benefits of walking than to take part in this fundraising effort”.

To donate and support Healthy Minds ‘Marathon for Mental Health’ – visit