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Ross Russell’s 10K run for SAMH

Ross Russell’s 10K run for SAMH

Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50 in the UK – a statistic that resonates with 25 year old Ross Russell who has had some very real struggles with his mental health in the past few years.

Ross is currently in training for the Men’s 10K Glasgow on 16th June and has decided to fundraise for the Scottish Association of Mental Health (SAMH) – a charity who put mental health care and awareness at the forefront of their work.

Here’s Ross’ story:

“Two years ago, I finally opened up about struggling with mental health issues after over a year of not feeling myself and not realising that I needed help. The problems started shortly after entering my third year of university in September 2015. I was making a two hour round trip most days, wasn’t enjoying the course, was struggling to make friends and started falling behind with work and submissions.

After months of stress – trying and failing to keep up with assignments, I stopped attending and eventually dropped out in early 2016. I didn’t have a job at the time, so I was totally unemployed and no longer a student.

Job hunting wasn’t easy – applying to several jobs a day and hearing nothing back. When I finally managed to get a job in March 2016, I only lasted two months before quitting because I was experiencing panic attacks before and during shifts. I was dragged to my GP by my mum as I really didn’t think I could face going. I was put on anti-anxiety medication and offered counselling, which I accepted.

Waking up and spending every day sitting in the house either sleeping or applying for jobs I knew wasn’t going to hear back from, started taking its toll. I felt so low and my self-esteem was non-existent.

One Saturday night in March 2017, I broke down to my mum after a night out in town with friends. It was then, my mum helped me to realise that I needed to get help to get my life back on track. I was put on a course of antidepressants by my GP. Antidepressants were a last resort for me – I always said that I would never take them unless I really had to.

Three months later things started looking up and in June 2017, I was given a job interview for an apprenticeship with my local council. I started in August, was gradually taken off my antidepressants at the end of the year, and haven’t looked back.

These past two years (although I still have my bad days) I have never felt happier, and it’s all thanks to the support I’ve received from my friends, family and a few others who know who they are, especially my mum who I don’t think I’d still be here without.

Having experienced all of this, I want to do the best I can to try to help others who are battling their own mental health problems.

My message to anyone who is struggling: opening up about how you’re feeling is the most difficult part, but something as simple as talking to your loved ones can make the world of difference. People do care and things will get better.

Any size of donation for SAMH is greatly appreciated and will help motivate me in my training!”

To donate to Ross’ fundraising efforts, visit his JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ross-russell4.  Join in the chat on social media. Twitter – @Mens10k, Instagram – @mens10k, Facebook – Men’s 10K. #Mens10k #positiveMENtality

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Greg Cann – Blog 1

Greg Cann – Ambassador Blog 1

Have you ever agreed to something and then in hindsight wondered why? Have you ever been excited by an opportunity and then feel uncertain if you can carry on? You’re not alone…

I started running 2 (or 3!) years ago…I don’t remember exactly when or why – just felt I needed to do something to fill a gap and keep me occupied. At 40-something, I had been playing rugby for over 30 years and realised that it couldn’t continue – but I didn’t want to sit around and balloon in size. PARKRUN – that would be it! How hard could running 5k actually be…easy for a fit, rugby-playing afficionado of exercise – right? WRONG – it was torture. I remember the feeling and time – something I became obsessed with for almost a year.

After the 5k buzz, I started 10ks, then half marathons – that wasnt enough…I decided I needed on a goal. SO, I would use the new regime to raise money for a charity – one that I had been involved with personally and professionally for a couple of years. 2017 would see me run the equivalent of 10 marathons over 12 months…how hard could THAT be? Blooming murder actually…5k, 10k, Mens 10K, Kilomathon, Hairy Haggis, RED January etc etc, the list was endless…BUT I did it – finished some 14 months later (yeah yeah!)….WHAT NEXT? Wait and see…

So WHY have I carried on? Do you ever ask yourself the same question…? I found that running was my escape…from the pressures of work, from family squabbles…a time that was only me, (although usually with my second escape; music) and a space that allowed me to think, recharge my mind and get away from everything else. Through work partnerships, I found out more about the impact of physical fitness on mental health and began to realise that my mental health was all over the place – up and down constantly, linked to loads of external things that I had no control over – BUT YOU CAN IGNORE THEM ON A RUN!

I see firsthand the impact of physical activity on confidence, self-esteem and mental health of the people I worked with, especially amongst men who didn’t open up or talk about ‘that kind of thing’…so I ran, and carried on running, and will continue to run and exercise because I know the power and impact it has on me, and on every individual that gets out there…

This is why I am so excited and honoured to have been selected as an Ambassador for Men’s 10K Glasgow. Follow my journey to this year’s event and support…why not even get involved yourself!? You never know, you might just enjoy it!Inspired? Watch, read and enjoy more content from our fantastic crop of 2019 Ambassadors at mens10k.com/ambassadors. If you’ve not yet taken the leap, secure your spot on a Men’s 10K start line this year at mens10k.com/mydetails.

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Richard Fenton – Blog 1

Richard Fenton – Ambassador Blog 1

I ran my very first competitive 10k in September of 2017 and got myself a time of 49:33 after training for seven months from a standing start and being two stone overweight. The second I crossed the finishing line, I knew I had caught the running bug. That’s why I signed up for a few more races including the 2018 Men’s 10K Glasgow where I managed a time of 50:15. Since then I have completed 10 more events of varying distances and types, but as far as 10k races go, my favourite event is the Men’s 10K which is why I am back again this year with a target to beat my best time!

As I write I have really begun to step up my training with a mix of road running and on those cold icy days getting into the gym and onto the treadmill. If you have signed up for your first run and you are happy to take some advice around training, I have a couple of suggestions which worked very well for me. Firstly one foot in front of the other, then repeat; may seem obvious but pace isn’t really important at this type of event, it all about getting to the start line and moving forward to the finish and enjoying the journey. This rule applies to training too which is very important; the fact is the more you train the more fun you will have on the day. Secondly eat the right stuff, fuel is vital when training and even more so on race day. You don’t have to get a team of nutritionists involved, for me its peanut butter on toast with sliced up banana to make a toasted sandwich and a bowl of porridge, two hours before, for you it may be something entirely different, although I would recommend staying away from a fry up.

As it stands I am up to pace with my distance so getting in some regular 10k runs. I recently managed to cover 10k out on the road in just under 53 minutes, so quite pleased given that I am 49 in May this year. One thing that I always love about race day is the fact that you get boost to your pace time, which means whatever your best time is training you are more than likely going to smash that on the day, the reason is simple, you get carried along with the pace of your fellow runners and the atmosphere – the Men’s 10k has one of the best.

I will be back again soon with another blog and hopefully a video, in the mean time you may see me out on the roads of East Kilbride or on the trails in Calderglen, either way good luck with all your own training efforts! 
Inspired? Watch, read and enjoy more content from our fantastic crop of 2019 Ambassadors at mens10k.com/ambassadors. If you’ve not yet taken the leap, secure your spot on a Men’s 10K start line this year at mens10k.com/mydetails.

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Five Reasons Runners Love Spring

Five reasons runners love spring

After what seems like an eternity of cold, dark, wintry evenings, there’s finally some light at the end of the tunnel – the road race season is firmly in sight and spring is on its way! But what does this mean for us runners? Here are five reasons we love spring…

1. Calm after the storm
A wise man once said “You never appreciate spring until you’ve been through a tough winter.” – and it’s the months of battling inclement conditions that makes the longer days, lighter nights and increasing temperatures all the more sweet when they finally come around.

2. Combine work and play
Spring is a great time to build training into your daily commute. Make use of the longer days by integrating cycling or running into your journey and watch your training go to the next level!

3. More mac, less mill
While treadmills make a great alternative to outdoor running when winter really bites, there’s no substitute for running outdoors. The changing of the seasons is a great time to get out and get stuck into those forgotten routes from the heady days of summer last year!

4. Time to get serious
Spring marks the start of the road race season proper; a joyous time for all runners! So whether you’ve got a marathon, half marathon, 10K or any other race planned, it’s time to start harvesting the fruits of your labour, scooping up some medals, PBs and most importantly some memories that will last a lifetime!

5. Flower like a spring pansy
It’s time for you to come into your own, just like a spring flower. Get prepared to show off those blooming bulbs and brightly coloured petals that you’ve been tending to all winter.

Inspired? Capitalise on the changing of the seasons by setting your next challenge at a Men’s 10K. First up in the 2019 series is Glasgow on Father’s Day, Sunday 16th June. We then head to Edinburgh on Sunday 3rd November, just ahead of International Men’s Day. Get involved!

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Running at Christmas: Dos and Donts

Running at Christmas: Dos and Donts

The festive period is always a challenging time for us runners. As the calendar fills up with work parties and social gatherings, and the kitchen cupboard fills up with mince pies and yule logs, you’d be forgiven for over-indulging and missing out on some running!

But if you’re feeling extra determined this year, we’ve got some top tips to help you keep fit this Christmas, and some dangerous pitfalls to avoid!

Become an early riser

If your calendar is chock-a-block with parties, gatherings and family reunions, why not set an alarm and get your run done nice and early? It’s a great feeling having it under your belt and knowing the rest of the day is yours to relax! Will it be cold? Probably – but winter mornings can also be pretty beautiful things to behold.

Don’t be self-righteous

You might be really enjoying the feeling of keeping fit while family members pour prosecco onto their cornflakes, but don’t go gloating! An endorphin-charged runner sitting on their high-horse is sure to ruffle some turkey feathers.

Get into the spirit

There are plenty of festive fun runs coming up in the next few weeks, so why not get yourself entered into one? Get some friends together, don your Santa hats and reindeer antlers and have a laugh with it!

Don’t expect any PBs

A few cheeky treats are inevitable and Christmas food is certainly more conducive to steady running than a max out effort! So don’t put too much pressure on yourself, just go out and enjoy running for the sake of running!


Merry Christmas and enjoy!

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Men’s 10K Top 5 Tips for Winter Running

Top 5 Tips for Winter Running

There’s no denying there’s been a definite shift in temperature recently, autumn is here and winter is definitely on its way. Here are our top five tips for training during this nippy time of year:

1. Make a Plan: Make plans to meet someone for a run, then there’s no backing out if you’re not quite in the mood for it. Making plans will help you to get motivated and stay on track throughout the winter.

2. Dress for the conditions The general rule of thumb is to dress as if it’s 20 degrees warmer. You want to be warm but not overheating when you run.

    • 10 to 20 degrees: 2 tops, 2 bottoms.

 

    • 0 to 10 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms. Two tops (fleece for the cold-prone) and a jacket.

 

    • Minus 10 to 0 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms, extra pair of gloves, 1 scarf wrapped around mouth or a balaclava.

3. Gone with the wind: Wind is brutal when running, especially in Scotland! Start your run into the wind and finish with it at your back, so the breeze doesn’t blast you after you’ve broken a sweat. To avoid a long, biting slog, you can break this into segments, running into the wind for about 10 minutes, turning around to run with the wind at your back for five minutes, and repeating.

4. Old habits die hard: Traditionally a morning runner? Why not try a lunchtime run instead when the temperatures are a bit warmer? Alternatively, try running twice a day, in the morning and in the evening – it’s better than doing one long run where you might get very cold toward the end.

5. Winter sun: If all else fails, book a flight and head somewhere warm for your Vitamin D fix!

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Men’s 10K Glasgow inspires positive change for men across Scotland

Men’s 10K Glasgow inspires positive change for men across Scotland

The Men’s 10K Glasgow continues to produce an event day like no other; each runner’s personal journey and reason for running adding to the atmosphere and vitalizing the collective identity that the event is built on.

Over 2,500 men took to the streets of Glasgow on Father’s Day, Sunday 17th June in ideal running conditions – the morning rain clearing just in time for the start of the run. Supported by local crowds along the route, they tackled the stunning city-centre 10K from the Riverside Museum to George Square, taking in many of Glasgow’s most iconic landmarks along the way.

The event also coincided with the final day of Men’s Health Week; a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of a variety of men’s health issues.

Among the finishers was Martin Kilcoyne whose 10K run for Cancer Research UK (CRUK) was an emotional one. Martin explained:

“Last year my father was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer and had multiple tumours which had spread rapidly. He had a brain tumour which was operated on, but a successful operation and a few months of good treatment eventually stalled and the tumours started to grow back.

“While on a break from his treatment down in London, he suffered a large stroke that led to him being left unable to communicate or get out of his bed, and doctors had no option but to end his treatment. He was taken home for end of life care at the start of November and passed away around a week after getting home.

“My brother and I decided that it would be a fitting tribute to our father to run the Men’s 10K for CRUK on Father’s Day.”

You can read more and donate to Martin’s JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/martin-kilcoyne.

The inspiration continued as William Shirriffs crossed the line at George Square, raising funds for the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

William was diagnosed with depression several years ago, and shared his journey to the start line:

“Looking back, I have no idea how I kept functioning and going to work. I managed to get the help I needed and over the course of a year and a half, I got back on track – I spent a great deal of time rebuilding, made some changes and started to going to the gym.

During the rough times, I relied heavily on techniques for managing my depression, as well as mental health services offered in Glasgow, and I’m proud that I’m back on track, now with more knowledge and awareness and even more ways to manage things if they start getting difficult.”

On his decision to fundraise for SAMH, William said:

“I believe that awareness and provision of support services for mental health is just as important as those for physical health.”

You can read more and donate to William’s JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/william-shirriffs10k.

SAMH also benefited from the Men’s 10K pacers team who, as big fans of Glasgow band Frightened Rabbit, wanted to remember lead singer Scott Hutchison who tragically took his own life last month. On Frightened Rabbit’s request, they made their donations to SAMH.

Hundreds more guys took part in today’s run raising money for charity, including the official charity Cancer Research UK. Together, runners are estimated to raise over £100,000 as a result.

Event Director Sandra Scott commented:

“We’re delighted that the Men’s 10K continues to inspire the men of Scotland and beyond to make a real, tangible and positive change to their lives. The atmosphere in Glasgow is always special, and we hope the runners enjoyed the incredible city-centre route and their whole Men’s 10K experience.

“Each year, we’re inundated with amazing runner’s stories, from those taking personal steps to better health and fitness, to those raising funds for charities close to their hearts. We are humbled to be a part of these personal journeys and congratulate each and every runner who crossed that line today.”

“Our ultimate aim is for the event to play a small but significant part of an urgent need to change the face of men’s health in Scotland and the rest of the UK.”

Scott added:

“We want to say a special thank you to the people of Glasgow who have shown such incredible support for the runners across the route and also to our Event Delivery Team who give their free time, skills and enthusiasm to ensure that every single runner enjoys a welcoming, safe and enjoyable event.

We hope that you wear your finisher’s t-shirt with pride and we look forward to seeing you all again.”

For those who want to continue the journey or who missed out on Glasgow, there is still another chance to join the fun when the Men’s 10K returns to Edinburgh later this year.

Edinburgh will host the event on Sunday 4th November just ahead of International Men’s Day with a stunning route that begins on the Royal Mile in the heart of Old Town and finishes in style at BT Murrayfield Stadium.

To find out more visit https://www.mens10k.com/edinburgh/ and to see the full list of finisher’s times from Glasgow, visit https://www.mens10k.com/glasgow/.

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Men’s 10K and Glasgow Rocks score slam dunk in new partnership

Men’s 10K and Glasgow Rocks score slam dunk in new partnership

The Men’s 10K this week signed off on a two-year partnership with professional basketball team Glasgow Rocks.

The Rocks, who are based at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, are Scotland’s only professional basketball team and one of the leading franchises in the top-tier league.

Men’s 10K Marketing Director Annette Drummond believes the deal is a fantastic opportunity for both businesses. She said: “We’re delighted to have signed off on what is a really exciting partnership. The Rocks have a great club history and a fiercely loyal fanbase which we believe aligns really nicely with our Men’s 10K brand.

“The ultimate aim of the Men’s 10K is to get guys fit, active and healthy. We hope this partnership will enable us to build our brand recognition on the court and beyond and to get our message out to a new and engaged community.”

She added “Running a 10K is a great challenge for anyone whether they are just starting out or already taking part in regular sport. The benefits of exercise are universally accepted, but in the UK, we quite simply don’t do enough of it.

“Glasgow Rocks have a fantastic, community of supporters, but just watching sport is not enough. We hope that everyone who supports the Rocks also take part in a Men’s 10K where they can expect a taste of that brilliant, supportive atmosphere. So our message to Scotland’s men: stop saying “I could”, “maybe” and “I might”: take control of your life and create some positive change”.

The first Men’s 10K took place in Glasgow in 2004; started by the Men’s Health Forum Scotland as a focal point for raising awareness of men’s health issues. The Edinburgh event was added to the program in 2015 and both events continue to grow in popularity each year.

Daniel Bajwoluk, General Manager at Glasgow Rocks commented: “We are delighted to have partnered up with the Men’s 10K for the next two seasons. We, as an organisation, have always been advocates of getting people healthy and fit, especially via well established community programmes which are delivered by the players in partnership with our charity, Scottish Sports Futures. This new partnership with Men’s 10K gives us an opportunity to further build on the ‘be healthy, be active’ foundations we have created within the community. We would hope that our affiliation will inspire a new crop of men to try and take up running and get involved in the next 10K event that comes their way – I’m even thinking of getting involved myself.”

The 2017 Men’s 10K series concludes in Edinburgh on Sunday (5th November) where runners will tackle a city-centre route which starts on the Royal Mile and finishes at BT Murrayfield Stadium. The 2018 Glasgow Men’s 10K will take place on its traditional Father’s Day date, which next year falls on Sunday 17th June.

Find out more and enter at https://www.mens10k.com/.

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Men’s 10K Glasgow back for another year in 2017!

Men’s 10K Glasgow back for another year in 2017!

Thousands of men will gather on the banks of the Clyde this June to take part in the 12th annual Glasgow Men’s 10K.

Taking place on Sunday 18th June, Father’s Day, the annual event attracts in the region of 4,000 runners – 40% of which have never taken part in a 10K before.

For over a decade, the event has been a focal point for raising awareness around men’s health issues, touching the lives of over 40,000 men.

One competitor taking part this year is Chris Quinn, a 51 year old NHS worker from Hillington, who has ran in the last five races. Chris currently volunteers for the Beatson Cancer Charity and will run to raise funds for a friend’s seven year old daughter, who has a rare genetic condition called Bohring-Opitz.

Explaining his passion for the race, Chris said: “The Glasgow Men’s 10K is such a huge part of the running year for many guys in Glasgow and beyond. I have done the race five times and I can’t praise it highly enough.

“It was the first 10K I ever did and I still use it as a benchmark for my personal best times. The first time, I ran one hour and two minutes, the following year was one hour and one second. In my third though, I smashed the time, coming in at just over 58 minutes.

“I see myself being the kind of runner that benefits from this event – slightly overweight, occasional runner and not part of a club. Now it is back, I am going to start training and aim for 55 minutes to try and beat my personal best time.”

As is traditional, the event will take place on Father’s Day, with the fantastic city centre route starting at Riverside Museum and finishing in George Square.

Neil Kilgour Event Director said: “After such a successful event this year, Men’s 10K Glasgow is back for 2017 and we’re hoping that more men will take part than ever before. Running a 10K is a great challenge for anyone whether they are just starting out or already take part in regular sport. The benefits of exercise are universally accepted, but in the UK, we quite simply don’t do enough of it.

“Every runner taking part in the Men’s 10K can expect a taste of that brilliant, supportive atmosphere. So we say to Scotland’s men stop saying “I could” “maybe” and “I might”: take control of your life and create some positive change”.

Entries for the Men’s 10K Glasgow event are now open at www.mens10k.com. Entries are also open for the Edinburgh event which takes place on Sunday 6th November this year.

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Thousands of inspiring men tackle Glasgow Men’s 10K on Father’s Day

Thousands of inspiring men tackle Glasgow Men’s 10K on Father’s Day

Thousands of men created a positive impact of their health and wellbeing by taking to the streets of Glasgow for the 11th Men’s 10K on Father’s Day this morning. The event again acted as a perfect catalyst for addressing the issues of men’s health and wellbeing.

The rain held off and the 10K run took place in mild, overcast conditions in Glasgow’s city centre. The brand new 2016 route took runners from the Riverside Museum to George Square via some of the city’s most iconic landmarks.

The 10K race was officially started by Jay Semple who was nominated by his friend Christopher Quinn. Jay is registered blind and runs with a guide runner, but this didn’t stop him starting the event and then proceeding to run the 10K himself! He pressed the starter horn at 10am and then joined his running group to complete the route with his friends.

Event Director Neil Kilgour said: “The Men’s 10K plays such an important role in Scotland, inspiring thousands of men of all ages and abilities to get that little bit fitter. This year’s route was probably the best yet, taking in all of Glasgow’s iconic sights such as the Hydro, the Science Centre and the SECC, crossing over the Clyde via the Tradeston Bridge and finishing in George Square. It was an incredible atmosphere generated by runners and supporters.”

The event threw up countless stories from ordinary men doing extraordinary things.John Roach ran in honour of his son Calum, who was recently diagnosed with Autism. John uses running as a coping mechanism and a way to vent his frustration of being unable to help his son.Relatively new to running, John’s first outing was a self-professed disaster; he vomited after one mile. Since then John has tackled several races including half marathons and one full marathon, raising funds and awareness of Autism. He now says that running is “part of my life” and he has plenty of races planned this year. John was understandably delighted after finishing the Glasgow Men’s 10K today, he has done Calum proud on Father’s Day!

Elsewhere, Bryan Morrison was running for a charity called SiMBA who give out memory boxes to parents who have recently experienced the awful case of a stillborn baby. In July 2003, Bryan and his wife were unfortunate enough to have this experience first-hand. SiMBA was set up in 2005 by a nurse called Sara Fitzsimmons who wanted to give these parents more. Well done to Bryan for raising money and awareness for a fantastic cause close to his heart.

Finally, Scott Sweeney ran the Glasgow Men’s 10K for the Scottish Network for Arthritis in Children (SNAC) after his youngest son Liam was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis earlier this year.
Scott decided to run for SNAC after they had helped give some advice for Liam’s condition and he saw what great work they do. The fact it was Father’s Day no doubt made Scott’s 10K run all the more special.

Race Director Kilgour added: “Congratulations to everyone who took part – you all fully deserved your commemorative medal and goody bag. I am really proud of the fact that these men have acted and made positive change in their lives. They pulled the trainers on and made a difference not only in their lives but also that of their family and friends. They should walk tall once they’ve crossed that finish line.”

For those who want to do it all again or who missed out on Glasgow, there is still another chance to join the fun when the Men’s 10K returns to Edinburgh after a successful debut in the Scottish capital last year.

Edinburgh will host the event on Sunday 6th November just ahead of International Men’s Day with a route that begins on the Royal Mile and finishes at the BT Murrayfield Stadium. Find out more here and see the full results from Glasgow here.

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