Holt fish and chip shop owner to run marathon for mental health charity

Martin and Amanda Garrard, with daughter Romy, 10, and Ryker, 6. Photo: Martin Garrard

Martin and Amanda Garrard, with daughter Romy, 10, and Ryker, 6. Photo: Martin Garrard - Credit: Archant

A north Norfolk fish and chip shop owner and bodybuilder will be swapping his chef's whites for leggings and lycra as he takes on a marathon for mental health.

Martin Garrard, 40, who is taking on the Brighton Marathon for mental health charity Mind next year,

Martin Garrard, 40, who is taking on the Brighton Marathon for mental health charity Mind next year, pictured with his wife Amanda Garrard, 41. Photo: Martin Garrard - Credit: Archant

Martin Garrard, owner of Holt Fish Bar, is training for a 26 mile challenge for the second year in a row when he takes part in the Brighton Marathon in April 2019.

And the Aylsham father of two, who is hoping to raise thousands for the mental health charity Mind, shared his reasons for choosing the cause.

He said: 'This time I'm running for Mind as I know a lot of people who have had or still have mental health issues.

'There are different ways of dealing with it for everyone.

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'Exercise, especially running for me, is very therapeutic and I would highly recommend it.

'I think setting yourself goals is a good idea in life in general.

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'Whether it be a marathon or something smaller, it doesn't have to be something physical.

'Just short-term and long-term goals to keep you focused and motivated. If you've got things to aim for it's always positive.'

Mr Garrard, 40, said: 'I did the Brighton Marathon this year with my best friend Andrew Graveling and we raised £3,500 for Cancer Research.

'I started training last summer, about nine months before the race.

'I'm not built for running long distances. I've come from a bodybuilding background so this is out of my comfort zone.'

And after the race, despite thinking it was all over, he added: 'As the days and weeks went on I thought with more training I could definitely do a better time.'

Mr Garrard, who took over the family-run Holt business in April this year, alongside wife Amanda, 41, said: 'Training is going really well and it's five months away so there's still time.

'I'm hoping to raise £1,500 to £2,000 - I think that's a reasonable goal.

'A lot of my biggest donors have been people I don't know at all or barely know.

'The support was and is overwhelming.'

To sponsor Martin's marathon for Mind click here to visit his fundraising page: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MartinGarrard1

Mental health charity praise 'marathon effort'

Karen Bolton, head of community and events fundraising at Mind, praised Mr Garrard's efforts to fundraise for the charity.

She said: 'We're so thankful to Martin for choosing to support Mind.

'Every penny he raises through his marathon effort will fund Mind's vital work including the Mind Infoline, our advice services and the campaigning Mind does to secure a better deal for the one in four of us who experience a mental health problem every year.

'Taking on the Brighton Marathon is not only an amazing achievement in itself, it's also a brilliant way to help break down the stigma that still surrounds mental health and highlight the positive impact physical activity can have on mental wellbeing.

'Our physical health and mental health are closely linked and physical activity like running can be very beneficial for our mental health and wellbeing too.

'In fact one study has found that by increasing your activity levels from doing nothing, to exercising at least three times a week, you can reduce your risk of depression by up to 30%.'

• Wellbeing Norfolk and Waveney (and Wellbeing Suffolk) can be accessed via 0300 1231503 or www.wellbeingnands.co.uk and the free Samaritans helpline can be accessed by calling 116 123 from anywhere in the UK.

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