A huge congratulations to Norfolk-based park runners Michael Harper and Amanda Thomson who achieved their goal of running 5km around all Haven parks, in order to raise vital funds for Mental Health UK, following the tragic loss of Michael’s brother in late 2018.
Raising over £1,000 for the cause, the Haven 5K Park Run Challenge saw the pair complete a staggering 195km between March and October this year, (the equivalent of just over four and half marathons) with the aim of creating a lasting legacy that every park will have a marked out 5km route in the future.
With 1 in 4 people in the UK suffering from a mental health issue at some point in their lives, Michael wanted to put his passion for running to great use, raising awareness to as many people as possible; and with Haven welcoming over 2.9million guests per year in addition to Michael’s professional connection to the brand – where better than our parks?
Discussing the challenge, Michael and Amanda commented: “Exercise is important for so many health reasons and if you’re not affect personally, it’s highly likely you know someone who is. One consistent piece of advice given to any sufferer is to exercise. Through the Haven 5k Park Run Challenge, we wanted to encourage others to take up running and raise funds for such an important charity.
“Despite the drizzle, Thorpe Park was our best run, we were accompanied by Rory the Tiger for a little while, but he kept tripping over his under-carriage! The most difficult run was Littlesea; with the route being just under 1km, most of the time was spent running up and down – it certainly tested mental resilience!
“There’s no denying it was a tough challenge, but the money and awareness that has been raised was so worth it. As for our next challenge? We’re not quite sure yet, but we’d like to get Haven involved again too!”
If you wish to donate or read more about the challenge, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michael-harper13