Last weekend Jo Banks ran a marathon. On Saturday (1 August) friends and relatives congregated together outside Manton’s Oddfellows Arms to welcome Jo across the line and celebrate her outstanding achievement.
Jo was inspired by her late brother in law James, who passed away almost six months to the day before she took on that 26+ miles of hell, determination and endurance looking to raise funds for MIND. Initially with a target of £600, which already has peaked at well over £4,300 – a fitting achievement but one that will probably go somewhat further.
“Losing James this year was devastating for the whole family and everyone who knew him. The morning after his funeral I grabbed my trainers and out the door I went. I didn’t go far but it was grey, cold and wet but it felt good. From then I have tried to do a few runs a week and it has helped give me something to focus on and a bit of space to clear my head.
“There is nothing we can do to bring James back but I want to do something to honour him and create awareness for Mental Health. I had planned to enter a race this year but with everything going on and everything being cancelled my plans were on hold. But it seemed such a waste.” explained Jo, when voicing her inspiration and what drove her on.
Her achievement is also to help others in future. By raising awareness for mental health issues Jo’s aim is that the money raised will help someone out there, so another family won’t go through what she and her family have endured.
Before setting out on her arduous run, Jo noted: “This challenge won’t be easy for me, I am not someone who regularly runs but I have started this year. I am trying to push myself further and on the days I struggle and the moments of self doubt I think of James and others we have lost to soon and push my mind a little further. I am keen to see how far I can go. I would really appreciate your support and most importantly let’s try and help as many people as we can. Be kind, we don’t always know the struggles people are going through.
To support Jo click here to the MIND Memory Space page to leave a donation and wishes.