Our very own Fatima Ali has kindly put herself forward to run the London Marathon!

Fatima was invited to take part in a training day specifically set up for all those running for mental health charities. Heads Together is the Charity of the Year for the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon. They are working to promote mental health and reduce the stigma by encouraging people to have more conversations about mental health. As they say, two heads are better than one...

Fatima says:

There were about 150 runners, and the day was scheduled to share with us valuable training advice and information, while also taking us through physical sessions in order to help us run the marathon more effectively and enjoyably. We turned up expecting to train hard and learn some strategies to get us through the 26.2 miles, however during the morning introductions, we were politely informed that Paula Radcliffe and Iwan Thomas would be making an appearance, which for me was exciting enough!

Once we were out in the Marathon training track, all sweaty and puffed out from sprint relays, the Royals appeared! They casually strolled in and were filming an interview on the side. Once they had done their publicity/press bits and pieces all three of them just joined the crowd and were wishing us well. All of a sudden I found myself stood next to Kate Middleton, as she put an arm around me in order to squeeze by, so I politely asked for a photo, she obliged then asked my name and how I was! We had a conversation; I told her about work, working for Reach, what we do here and my reasons for running. She asked about training and was sympathetic about my recent injury and wished me well!

The Duchess was lovely to speak to, so down to earth and genuinely seemed interested in what I did. I could see how passionate she was about promoting mental health, and her encouragement inspired me so much so, that I may well have pounced on Iwan Thomas! He gave me some great advice, and again, was sweet enough to share a hug and pose for a photo.