Undertaking a race of any kind is some form of a battle. You may be battling to finish the race, to beat your previous time or even to win. For Rohan, he was fighting a battle with his weight and – most difficult of all – with his mental health.
Rohan has experienced depression and bipolar disorder since his late teens. He remembers the times he was told that he was too young to be experiencing mental health problems, or that he couldn’t have depression because he had a job and a family. Rohan points out the startling statistic that suicide is the leading cause of death amongst young men in the UK and says he could not have got through it without the support of his friends and family, and the charity Mind.
Mind are a mental health charity that provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They also campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
While slowly rebuilding his life, Rohan admits to being overweight and suffering from poor health. He had joined gyms in the past but always felt out of place so stopped going. Deciding not to give himself a chance to get de-motivated, Rohan signed up for the Bupa Great Manchester Run (10k) and Great Birmingham Run (half marathon), publicly stating his intentions so he would be unable to back out.
Although training was extremely hard, since that day Rohan has lost 7 stone and completed, not just the 10k and the half marathon, but a further two half marathons; the Royal Parks and Great North Run getting his time down to 1 hour and 38 minutes.
In order to keep raising money for Mind whilst raising awareness of mental illness, Rohan now has three further half marathons plus the big one, the 26.2 mile Virgin Money London Marathon, lined up. He says he could never have dreamt that he’d finish a 10k, let alone sign up for an entire marathon, but the results he has seen are his motivation to keep going.