Lancashire Mind fundraiser completes Blackpool marathon on his driveway

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​Lancashire Mind supporter Tony Albanese ran the marathon at home using his driveway when the event was postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Tony, who was due to complete the marathon on 26th April with a 50lb backpack, was determined to continue to support Lancashire Mind. After seeing someone else complete a marathon in their garden Tony decided to changed his  challenge to the ‘Driveway challenge’.

Tony used his long driveway to complete the 26.2 mile event and cited the constant turning, no variety in environment with no crowd or atmosphere and the lack of fellow contestants as the biggest challenge.

Tony said: “I had worked so hard towards this challenge, I wanted to make it happen and support Lancashire Mind. I
had a time in mind to complete the challenge which was seven hours. It soon became apparent that I was behind my target due to the constant turning and it was looking more like nearly nine hours which was hard to take mentally. I just focused on putting one foot in front of the other and accepted that I would finish when I finished.”

Tony chose a marathon as his challenge as he felt that it gave some context to the struggles those who live with
mental health conditions face every day. He said: “The 50lb backpack weighed heavy on my back and it was a challenge to put one foot in front of the other, the straps permanently dug into my shoulders leaving blisters and I’m still feeling the effects but I will recover. There were times when I felt like quitting but I crossed that finish line. Towards the end a neighbour played eye of the tiger on his phone from across the road which spurred me on for the last bit.

“With every step of the marathon I was thinking about those close to me, past and present, who have struggled with mental health conditions. I believe in Lancashire Mind’s message of prevention through education and support. I hope the money I have raised will go some way to helping them continue their vital work in the Blackpool community and across Lancashire.”

Tony added: “To anyone who was due to take part in the fundraising event or activity for Lancashire Mind I would say, if it can be done safely within the current guidelines and there is a way to do it then go for it!”

Lancashire Mind CEO Tommy McIlravey said: “On behalf of everyone at Lancashire Mind and those who access our services, I would like to thank Tony. As a small, local charity we rely on the support of individuals and organisations to help us exist. Most of the events, challenges and activities our fundraisers were organising or taking part in have, rightly, been cancelled or postponed which leaves us with a significant gap in our fundraising income.

“It is commendable that Tony has created a way to safely continue to support Lancashire Mind and I would encourage others to think outside the box if they are no longer able to fundraise safely in the way they had planned. Tony has raised £1,000 for Lancashire Mind and this, more so than ever, will go a long way to helping us to continue to work towards our vision of wellbeing for all.”

The Lancashire Mind team are currently taking part in the Lancashire Mind 30:30 Challenge. The challenge centres around the Five Ways to Wellbeing: Connect, Be Active, Give, Take Notice and Learn. The Five Ways are evidence-based actions, developed by the New Economics Foundation, that can make a positive difference to our wellbeing if carried out on a regular basis. The challenge is simple Lancashire Mind is asking people across Lancashire to take part in physical activity for at least 30 minutes every day for 30 days. This will help everyone to Be Active but they also want you to think about how your activity can help you achieve one or more of the other ways to wellbeing.

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