Donning his running shoes and taking to the treadmill, Graham McKenna is going the extra mile for CALM – by setting out to smash the world record for distance travelled on a treadmill. This test of endurance will be completed in just seven days – all to support CALM’s life-saving services. For Graham, the challenge is about more than miles, so we caught up with him to find out more.
For most people the thought of completing one marathon is daunting enough, but Graham’s world record will be the equivalent of 21 marathons – anyone else working up a sweat just thinking about that?
Having personally struggled with his own mental wellbeing, Graham recognises it can be difficult to know who to turn to when you need advice. He hopes the run will encourage people to speak up and seek help:
“In 2017 I was in a very dark place. At the time I didn’t know about CALM, if I had then perhaps I’d have turned to them for help.”
Set to complete the fundraiser on World Mental Health Day, Graham enlisted the help of a coach to draw up a training plan and he embarked on the gruelling process of preparing for the record attempt:
“The training has been pretty extreme at times. I’ve taken on challenges before, running a few 100km races, but I’ve never really trained for them and relied on will power and my natural ability to get me through. After we postponed a second time due to COVID, I decided that it would be a good idea to get a coach to draw up a plan.”
Graham’s desire to inspire people to donate, or to embark on their own fundraisers for CALM keeps him focused, but it’s his hope to raise the profile of CALM’s helpline that’s keeping him motivated.
“If raising awareness of CALM, mental health, and the positive effects of exercise, helps one person to reach out, then no matter what the outcome of the record attempt is, or the amount I raise, I will have won”
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