Training for this year's Yorkshire Marathon has not only made Duane physically fitter, it’s also helped improve his mental health.
Duane Lomax will run his first ever marathon on Sunday 14th October at this year's Asda Foundation Yorkshire Marathon to raise funds for BIG (Bury Involvement Group) in Mental Health, which has supported him with his mental health.
Speaking to Run For All, Duane said: "Running has always been so important to me and I would recommend it to anyone who may be suffering negative feelings.”
Duane, 30, who lives in Bury, was due to get married on October 20th - six days after the Asda Foundation Yorkshire Marathon. But in March he and his fiancée broke up as he sought to cope with anxiety issues.
Duane said: “I was pretty low for 10 weeks, attending therapy set up by my work, but have slowly got stronger to a point now where I am better than I have ever been - after finally opening up about my anxiety.
“More people need to speak about mental health because it is such a common problem especially in young people. It is absolutely ridiculous that people like me keep stuff bottled up for years and years because of embarrassment or shame. One thing I have realised is that there is always somebody to talk to and I am so lucky to have some unbelievable friends and family.”
Duane is using the marathon to raise funds for BIG (Bury Involvement Group) in Mental Health, which has supported him.
“Charities like BIG in Mental Health are so important. They helped me personally when I went along to normalise these feelings that everybody gets at some point in their lives. The people who run the group are so nice and a credit to the charity.”
Duane recently received a boost when he walked the coast of Anglesey – 125 miles – in seven days.
“This was a walk I was so afraid of doing because I overthought the whole thing and didn't think I would cope on my own. It's one of the best things I've ever achieved and has made me so strong.
“I'm quite nervous about doing my first marathon but I know that once I've done it, it will rank as one of my best achievements. I'm looking forward to the feeling of getting over that finish line wearing my BIG in Mental Health T- shirt.
“I chose to run the Yorkshire Marathon because it was six days before I was going to get married and that would have kept me on target to look and feel good for that. Life is strange isn't it? But what I do truly believe is that if one of the worst times of my life hadn't happened, then I may never have faced my anxiety.
“Standing up to my anxiety, doing the walk, doing this marathon and talking about mental health in my blog is so important to me and has made me stronger, more positive and now I'm so happy to be me. I used to hate myself but now I don't, that is the best feeling.”