Back in December 2017, I decided I wanted to challenge myself. But I also wanted to inspire others and raise money and awareness for a charity. Mental health has always stood out to me and having read many reports on the increase in suicide rates made me even more determined to raise awareness… and hopefully some money. I’m also a firm believer that movement is the best medicine. I discovered RED January and decided to get involved in conjunction with the amazing mental health charity Mind.

January 1st, 2018 is where my journey began! I set myself a target of running three miles every day for 31 days. All I had to do was run! Rain, wind, snow, dark mornings, dark evenings. I was out.

Getting others involved

Many of my colleagues joined me for a lunchtime or after work run, so I decided to set up the Monday Night Run Club. So many people supported me and came out running with me, sharing comments like “wow I feel amazing after that” and “I was so stressed out before that run, now I feel great” or “That’s cleared my head”. This made me so happy and gave me the determination to carry on. Hearing how much people benefitted from a run! One person even said that they saw running as free therapy, which I love!

A group of men and woman posing for camera in sports gear after completing group run, Sarah Sanderson, 1000, miles, running, achievement, team, fitness, sport
Getting others involved and creating a movement.

When I first started, I was running three miles here and there at best. Running was my nemesis. I was always stressed out that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with people, I would be too slow and get left behind. I didn’t want anyone to feel like this, so my motto became “it’s not about how far or how fast, it’s just about getting out!”

I continued to encourage people to get out and run. I had people running with me who had never run before, people who ran marathons, it didn’t matter. By January 31st I had raised £500. I felt amazing and I had got a huge amount of people running. Was I ready to stop? No. I felt good and decided that as long as my body said yes, I would carry on running every day.

On Saturday September 26th, 2020 I hit 1000 days! Am I ready to stop yet? Absolutely not. I want to carry on raising awareness for mental health and continue to encourage people to get out and move.

Woman smiling with adidas headband during run at Morecambe Bay, running, 1000, miles, sport. fitness, employee, adidas
Getting out there and running come wind, rain or shine.

Highs and lows?

I have to admit, I can’t think of a particular low, but there have been so many highs. I started running with a girl in August 2019 (a beginner who had never run before). We run together 3-4 times a week and she’s gone from 0 miles to smashing out 7-8. “It’s changed my life!”, she said.

I can’t believe the buzz I get after each run. I’ve met people who have started running and it has improved their mental health and their fitness at the same time. These are all HUGE highs for me.

What was the toughest?

Val D’Isere in March 2018 when I was on a snowboarding holiday. Getting up at 5.30am when it was -19 degrees outside to go for a run before a full day of snowboarding was a challenge, but it didn’t stop me. I was even running behind the piste-basher after one metre of snowfall, which was… interesting. My iPhone even froze one morning!

Or climbing Ben Nevis with my team and having to run down. My legs were in bits the day after (and the day after that!), but I still got out and ran and it always felt amazing!

What keeps me going?

Inspiring and helping others. Movement really is the best medicine, and if I inspire one person who might be having a down day to get out and move, that’s what keeps me going. Not forgetting those endorphins. Wow are they powerful and so underrated. You never finish a workout in the bad mood!

Three woman smiling and posing happily after running session, Sarah Sanderson, sport, fitness, team, friends, run
Connecting with others through a shared love of sport.

When will I stop? When my body says so, but for now I’ll keep on running every day.

As we say here at adidas, ‘through sport, we have the power to change lives’. That’s something I truly believe in.

6 COMMENTS

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by Lucy Speakman 09.10.2020
Sarah, you truly ARE an inspiration to so many of us. Your infectious smile and honesty about good days and bad days, and that it is OK to NOT be OK is what makes us all want to join you and celebrate on this journey with you. I will join you for a run very soon, Lucy x
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by Andy Upfield 09.10.2020
Sarah you are a true inspiration . Well done and thank you for sharing and keeping us all motivated. Often when I have thought to miss a run I think of you running every day .
Congratulations and thank you for helping us keep Fit and Well ,especially during lockdown.
Yes I remember the Ben Nevis painful legs !
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by Vicky Gorman 09.10.2020
Absolutely amazing achievement!!
So inspirational! I love hearing your story and how committed you are! Well done Sarah!
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by Rachel Slater 09.10.2020
Sarah... I have no words other than YOU SHOULD BE SO PROUD! What a huge achievement to reach 1000 days, that's truly inspirational. Well done x
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by Amy Taylor 09.10.2020
congrats Sarah! fab lady & fab achievement x
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by Margaret Atkinson 16.10.2020
Sarah you really are a true inspiration to a lot of people. I loved our runs when we opened Gretna Green store. Also Ben Nevis. Thanks for always being there for your team and supporting people.
What an achievement 1000 days. Go Girl!!!!

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