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Taking on the Leeds Half Marathon - Rosie's story

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Rosie Boulton-Roberts is taking on the Leeds Half Marathon on 14 May, raising funds for the Foundation.

I think it's really important to raise awareness that you can do sports like running to make you stronger and to make your mind healthier.

Rosie only started running this year, when she ran 50 kilometres throughout January, alongside her university cheerleading squad.

After hearing about the research we fund, especially into eating disorders, Rosie was keen to support the Foundation. We spoke to her about all things running and mental health:

Tell us about yourself!

"I’m in my third year at university, studying international history and politics. I do cheerleading and I’m a coach for my team this year - it’s been a lot of work, but very fun!"

Why did you decide to support the Foundation?

"I like the fact that it does research into things that specifically affect young people. Particularly eating disorders, I’ve suffered in that respect, and so many other people I know have. I think it’s something that is worryingly prevalent among young people now, especially after Covid."

Fundraiser Rosie Boulton-Roberts in cheerleading competition

And what made you choose the Leeds Half?

"I knew running could be a really effective way to raise money for a good cause. Also I think it’s good to raise awareness that you can do sports like running to help your fitness, improve your strength, and make your mind healthier, instead of associating it with weight loss as some people can do with running."

What does running mean to you?

"I know quite a few people who have kept running because it helps with their mental health, and also because they enjoy seeing themselves get stronger rather than just getting smaller.

People can associate running with running to lose weight. But when you have to run, and you run consistently, you notice yourself getting better at it. Then you realise it's actually a skill and something that you can work at to enhance your strength and your fitness. I think for people that had never run before, including myself, that was quite a nice thing to realise when doing it.

Seeing people run these half marathons that are a normal shape has been healthy to see.

Seeing yourself improving is a measure of progress and something to be proud of that’s not necessarily academic- or work-related. It's nice to have something to work towards which is just for yourself."

Rosie Boulton-Roberts training for the Leeds Half Marathon May 14

And how is your training going?

"Now cheerleading season is over, I've got a lot more free time to run.

I've run the distance of a half marathon twice. The first time I did it I went out on a 10K Run and then just kept going, and I ended up running over 20k. So I think it’s going better than expected!"

Do you have any running tips for someone wanting to start?

"I would say, run at a pace that's not as fast as you possibly can.

I used to find running quite hard because I just assumed you were supposed to run as quick as you could. But my brother told me you should be running at a pace where you could hold a conversation at the same time, even if you feel you're going stupidly slowly, that's how to improve. And also that just makes it more enjoyable!"

Rosie is almost at her fundraising target. Visit her JustGiving page to see regular updates from Rosie or to show your support!

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Rosie's JustGiving page
Rosie Boulton Roberts