Circles: The Manchester 10k

First to say I am still writing my recap of the London Marathon. I think I am a bit like an Ent from lord of the rings, a lot of time passes me by quickly. I have it all written but its quite spaghetti, like this paragraph. It is coming.

In short I am still fundraising for the LGBT foundation. Despite running a marathon PB 3 weeks ago, giving a pint of blood 1.5 weeks ago I am hoping to get a 10k PB on Sunday at the great manchester 10k. Where in some ways it all began. The LGBT Fdn are helping me with transitioning and my mental health please do consider donating here. Today is also International Day against Homophobia Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) so your donations will be extremely well timed!

The Great Manchester 10k

Two years ago I was released from mental health hospital where I was sectioned feeling suicidal. After getting out I quit alcohol and started running. I signed up for the great Manchester 10k.

I rose money for Mind. At this time I was overweight and male. But I wanted to help others with their mental health problems.

I remember ironing onto my vest the three letters JOE, I was secretly hoping the E would fail so I could run as Jo. Also the person representing Mind at the race was called Sophie. I didn’t know at the time why I felt the way I did, but she is one of the Sophies I have met in my life that proved Sophie was an awesome name. It surprises me and saddens me still how I covered up these feelings even from myself, my whole life. At this time, hoping the E wouldn’t stick, and wishing I was a Sophie, I didn’t think beyond the fact it cause me a lot of sadness. Despite knowing trans people I couldn’t be trans and that was all there was to it.

The race was a huge day for me. My family came over to watch, it was the first time many of them had seen my self harm scars. I had covered them up and hidden them for years in shame. I wanted to run the great Manchester 10k in just my Mind vest. It took a lot of courage. In the end I was also super happy with my time

Since that day I have mainly worn short sleeves, especially when its warm. Indeed most of the time I forget I have scars. Sometimes I have met friends who haven’t seen them and only remember afterwards that they might not have known. I put that change down to this run alone and the fact that my family supported me.

On Sunday I am running it again, this time I am combining it with my fundraising for the London Marathon to try and raise more money for the LGBT foundation.

I called this post “circles” because in a lot of ways things have come full circle. I was referred for therapy through the NHS over the last month or two as things have been difficult. An absolutely lovely lady, Meninda, from the mental health services has been contacting me and organising help and she rang yesterday to ask if I would like to get that help through the LGBT foundation as they provide the same NHS mental health services, despite me accidentally playing Fatboy Slim down the phone because I was running with it in my belt at the time… Facepalm

I intend to try for a 10k personal best. Currently my 10k PB is from the great north run:

Officially 44:17 however I want to beat what my GPS thought it was: 43:44.

I believe I can get close to 41 minutes but I wont be able to perform at peak condition for two reasons:

1: I ran the London marathon 3 weeks ago

2: I gave a pint of blood to the NHS 1.5 weeks ago

I am interested to see what I can do though but if it isn’t as fast and I feel slow I wont be too troubled. I do want to get that PB for the LGBT foundation however.

Lastly thank you everyone who has donated money to these amazing two charities over the years. You have helped them and myself and many others.

Love you all


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