The Grassroots Runners, which was only started started in 2020, are a growing and thriving community of passionate fundraisers with a common goal – to raise awareness and prevent suicide through running. After many of 2020’s running events not going forward, and a year of waiting, our runners have finally been able to get their race bibs and running shoes on to take part in their long-awaited events – starting off with the Brighton Marathon 2021.
We spoke with Steven Carter-Bailey, a Great British Bakeoff star and passionate Grassroots supporter about his experience in running the Brighton Marathon 2021 with his sister Katie. He told us about what he was most nervous/excited about and what motivated him to run for Grassroots, here’s what he had to say.
“Grassroots do such an amazing job and I will do all that I can in the pursuit of suicide prevention.”
Tell us about yourself!
My Name is Steven, I’m 37 and originally I worked in marketing, but now I also work as a cake designer, teacher, writer, judge and presenter. I came 2nd in the 2017 Great British Bake Off and won the New Years’ Day Bakeoff, and since then I have tried to use my large following to do good work. I live in a small town North of London called Tring; I have 5 brothers and a sister (she ran the marathon with me).
Why did you join the Grassroots Runners?
Grassroots do such an amazing job and I will do all that I can in the pursuit of suicide prevention. Sadly, my sister and I have seen the direct effects of suicide and whilst we are unable to help those who have passed, we will do all we can to help someone else suffering.
“Running was never a way to exercise, but a way to redirect my focus and attention away from the bad in my life – 11 years later and my mental health is the best it’s ever been!”
How long have you been running? What does it mean to you?
I started running in 2010 as a form of escapism from my own mental illness. It was free, I didn’t need a PT and I could do it whenever I wanted to. I started running 1k, then 2k and it grew from there. I ran three half marathons in 2020 and I’m addicted to that post run euphoria I get, even if it’s just a quick 5k around the block. Running was never a way to exercise, but a way to redirect my focus and attention away from the bad in my life – 11 years later and my mental health is the best it’s ever been!
What did you most look forward to about your run? Did you have any nerves?
I was excited to train and run with my sister. She had done it before and we train well together. Her determination and strength is addictive, and definitely spurred me on. I was terrified of not finishing, but I knew I had to keep going no matter how long it took me!
Watch Steven’s video on how the 2021 Brighton Marathon went:
Want to join the Grassroots Runners and be part of our community of dedicated fundraisers?