Dental Review chases the inspirational story behind the nationwide Simplyhealth Great Runs
Dentists have been inspired to put their best foot forward to support Simplyhealth’s nationwide great runs. During this year’s Great North Run over 43,000 runners, a record for the event, completed the 13.1-mile course from Newcastle to the coast at South Shields.
Famous athletes, celebrities, and members of the public all took part to raise money for charity or as training for future marathons. Sir Mo Farah managed a record breaking fifth victory by winning the elite’s men’s race in 59 minutes and 29 seconds, and in the heart of the pack was 55 member dentists putting their aching feet where their big hearts led them.
We interviewed a few of the Simplyhealth Professionals’ member dentists after they got their breath back. Ursula Goode of 18 Dental (above with Ben Goode) enthused: “I finished in 1 hr 45. I’m delighted. This is my eighth half marathon but I heard this was the best one to do and I have not been disappointed. The support from people in Newcastle and Gateshead has been tremendous.
“Running is not just a physical outlet, it’s a real stress reliever. It’s great for your mental health. It helps me put my day or working week into perspective when I go out and run. I have been a runner for many years and I’ll always be a runner. I love the sense of community. It’s very good for team building.”
Billy Campbell of Camlough Dental Practice, agreed: “It was great. The run was harder than I thought but it was like a festival. Every minute there was something happening. We decided to take part at the last of the Key Client Forums. We were talking to Angela Beale and Henry Clover about running and exercise.
“Running clears your head. I’m sure it’s good for everything else, but the main reason I do it is to clear my head. All your work problems are still there, but they don’t feel as bad when you get back from a run.”
Clive Schmulian of Clyde Munro Dental nodded: “I found it to be quite a hard race. I have done eight half marathons and a marathon, and that was one of the hardest races. There was a lot of hills in it and there was constant sunshine so I found it to be tougher than previous half marathons. I did it in 2 hours 15 minutes.
“Running has kept me young, like Peter Pan. It’s good for my mental health. It helps manage stress and pressure at work and it’s been a very effective way of helping me relax and overcome the pressures of clinical practice and dentistry.”
Gone but not forgotten
While signing up for a 5km run was done partially to help improve her fitness, for Amelia Carter, who is digital marketer for Simplyhealth in Andover, there was a far more personal element involved for wanting to do it.
“One of the reasons I am running is in memory of some students from my school and college who took their own life. All were male and would be about my age. I want to help break the stigma, mainly in young men, about it being okay to talk. Mental health problems can affect anyone at any age and stage of their life so I’m running to raise money for the fantastic work and services that Mind give to support and help the people in need.
“As Simplyhealth work in partnership with the Simplyhealth Great Run Series we were given the opportunity to run. So, I decided to sign myself up for the Simplyhealth Great South Run 5km run to improve my fitness and to have a physical target to aim for.”
She continued: “I also wanted to see what the event is all about and of course to collect a medal and wear it with pride around my neck! Training has been going really well. The route I take is very hilly so I’m hoping that I can complete the 5km in good time as the course is flat.”
“At the end of my run I always feel happier and that I have a sense of achievement, benefiting from a clear head and the feeling that I am ready to face any challenges.”
When Mind Matters
Simplyhealth has supported Andover Mind since 2010, and in 2017 awarded the charity a £15,865 grant to co-fund its youth counselling service, along with Test Valley Borough Council. This year Simplyhealth has been working with Andover Mind to fund an expansion of its programme into Winchester.
As title partner of the Simplyhealth Great Run Series, Simplyhealth has the opportunity to select an official charity partner for the Series and, this year, has chosen to broaden its commitment to Mind.
Romana Abdin, Simplyhealth Chief Executive, said: “Looking after your everyday health isn’t just about pre-empting physical aches and pains; it’s also about taking care of your mental wellbeing. We heard so many stories last year of how important running is to maintaining and improving mental health, which is why we chose Mind as our charity partner.
“We’ve supported Mind at a local level since 2010 and – through the Series – believe we can make a real difference in this critical area of everyday healthcare. Simplyhealth is committed to charitable giving; we donate 10% of our pre-tax profits to health-related charitable activity every year.”
Karen Bolton, Head of Community & Events Fundraising at Mind, said: “We are delighted Mind is the official charity partner for the Simplyhealth Great Run Series 2018. We know the positive impact physical activity can have on mental wellbeing, so this partnership is a natural fit. Over the last four years, more than 7,000 Mind supporters have taken part in a Great Run series event and we hope many will return this year alongside the new runners joining Team Mind.
“This partnership will help us to reach a point where anyone with a mental health problem feels able to ask for, and access, the help they need. Money raised will fund our vital work including our Mind Infoline, information and advice services, and our campaigning to secure a better deal for the one in four of us who experience a mental health problem every year.
“Many people will be looking for a new year challenge, so whether you’re a regular runner or just starting out, we look forward to welcoming you to our team.”
The Simplyhealth Great Run Series – the UK’s biggest mass participation running series – features 30 events across ten cities including Edinburgh, Manchester, London, Newcastle, Bristol and Portsmouth. Simplyhealth has launched a “train and prepare” section online. Visit www.greatrun.org/training-simplyhealth for tips and inspiration.