Running the London Marathon to raise mental health awareness

Not afraid of a challenge, The Supply Room’s Jacqueline Leith will be running the London Marathon to raise mental health awareness later this year!

We chatted with Jacqui to get the low down on the charity she’s chosen to run for, and her reasoning behind running the marathon in the first place.

Here’s what she had to say…

You’re running the London Marathon to raise mental health awareness this year! What made you decide to run?

I decided to run the marathon to not only physically challenge myself, but to mentally challenge myself too! It takes a lot of strength to challenge yourself in both of these ways, so I just wanted to see if I could do it, really. I’ve always been inspired to see parts of the world via running, and have been running for pretty much my whole life.

Your whole life? When did you start?

I used to run for my cross country team back in secondary school. I then went on to running for my Province in South Africa. Cross country is considered a massive thing in South Africa so that’s how I got into it really!

Running the London Marathon to raise mental health awareness

Is this your first marathon?

Yes, this is my first full marathon! I’ve done two half marathons before which are 21k and they were both fun! It’s this one that will be the challenge though!

You’ve chosen a mental health charity to raise funds for – who have you chosen and why?

I have chosen to raise funds for Mind. The reason I chose this charity in particular is because in the last year, since the pandemic hit, it made me realise how much more of an issue mental health has been and that it’s so important to be more open and talk about your feelings. People who struggle with mental health issues rely on charities such as Mind if they don’t have a stable home life and aren’t able to speak to a friend or family member.

If you’d like to support Jacqui, please consider a donation (no matter how big or small) here.

What are some of the ways you keep your mental health in check?

Personally, I do things like go to the gym or go for a run – when I run it’s so freeing and I can take my mind off anything that may be troubling me. Another thing that really helps me is talking to my friends and family, it’s so important you talk about your thoughts and feelings. I also like travelling (when we could travel, that is), taking a trip- whether it’s a solo trip or a trip with a friend. It’s so refreshing and good to replenish your soul every once in a while with new experiences!

Tell us a bit about yourself – where are you from and where do you live now? What is your role at The Supply Room?

I’m from Johannesburg in South Africa originally and lived there my whole life. I moved to England in 2018 and live in Raynes Park! I’m a qualified teacher working at The Supply Room as an  education recruitment consultant. I love it here!

What motivates you?

Family! My mum in particular. They keep me motivated. Also succeeding and doing better, becoming a better version of yourself.

Running the London Marathon to raise mental health awareness

What is your message to people who are struggling with their mental health right now?

Reach out to someone. It’s so important that you can speak to someone and get your feelings off your chest. A problem shared is a problem halved. Just know it is okay not to be okay.

So, the London Marathon… What are you MOST excited for?

Finishing!!! Its been a major bucket list achievement of mine to be able to say ‘I ran the London Marathon’, and my aim is to finish it in under 5 hours. I’m most excited to just have the opportunity to finish it! I’m also looking forward to a week off and working from my bed whilst I recover! 😉

What are you LEAST looking forward to?

Oh definitely the pain I’ll be feeling after and any injury I may get – my knee’s already hurt just thinking about it!

How do you recover after a big run and how will you celebrate participating in the marathon?

Hot baths and plenty of rest! Of course, I’ll have a few drinks to celebrate, too!

Running the London Marathon to raise mental health awareness

Let’s have some fun…

Who was your favourite Little Mix member and why?

Jesy, she’s so sassy and full of girl power!

If you could choose anything, what superpower would you choose and why?

It would definitely be to fly, so I can see my family (but mostly so I can fly the marathon instead of run it, hehe)!

What’s the very first job you ever had and what did you learn from the experience?

My first job was working as an Au Pair. It definitely made me appreciate the work of a parent a lot more!

What’s your favourite quote to live by? 

“Everybody comes to a point in their life when they want to quit. But it’s what you do at that moment that you determine who you are.” – David Goggins

Everyone at The Supply Room wishes Jacqui immense luck in training and completing the marathon in October! Go Jacqui!