Director to run half marathon in aid of Beat – and launches Aptus Run Club!

Aptus’ People Director Natasha Clarke is taking on the Great Manchester Run Half Marathon this May to raise funds for Beat, the Eating Disorder Charity. The challenge has also inspired her to launch The Aptus Run Club to share her love of running with others.

Running Challenge

Natasha has been training hard for the half marathon – which is the second leg of a two-part running challenge she set with her sister Sian. Her sister successfully crossed the finish line for the Manchester Marathon in April, in four hours and 13 minutes. Now it’s Natasha’s turn to complete her longest run of 13 miles later this month.

The Manchester Half Marathon takes place on 26th May. Natasha says, “I don’t have a time in mind, I just want to cross the finish line, but for me, this will be a big achievement!”

Fundraising for Beat Charity

Both keen runners, the sisters took on the challenge to raise awareness of Beat’s mission to end the pain and suffering caused by eating disorders. On their JustGiving page Natasha shares a personal insight into their family’s experience.

“Sian spent most of her childhood and early teen years suffering from Anorexia. In 2013, she was hospitalised and spent 8 months in Galaxy House, in Manchester.

“Eating disorders are so much more common than most people think and yet are so underfunded and often go unrecognised until they have really taken a hold. Galaxy House is not a specialised unit, it’s a unit for children with all types of mental health illnesses, and whilst they did their best by Sian, people with eating disorders need specialist support.

“Galaxy House was the nearest centre to home and yet it’s a 70mile round trip. This meant hours of our time every week was spent up and down the motorway, just so we could see her. There should be help for people with eating disorders closer to home, especially for children who are separated from their families for prolonged periods.”

Raising Awareness

Around 1.25 million people in the UK suffer from an eating disorder, and people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds can be affected. The charity says these serious mental illnesses include anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. As well as being potentially deadly, they severely affect the quality of life of both those suffering and those who care about them.

Natasha adds, “It’s been just over 10 years since Sian decided to change her life and get a grip of her illness and we’re so proud of how far she’s come.

“Running has become a huge part of Sian’s life and I have fairly recently found a love for it too. So, this year, Sian is running Manchester Marathon in April, and I am running Manchester Half Marathon in May and we would be delighted if you could spare a little bit to help raise some funds for a much needing charity!” Read more about Natasha and Sian’s story here.

How can Beat help?

Beat supports anyone with an eating disorder and their friends and family, as well as professionals working with or worried about an individual in their care. Their national helplines are open from 3pm–8pm, Monday to Friday. Call UK: 0808 801 0677 or visit their website for help.

First session of The Aptus Run Club on Tuesday 6 May

The Aptus Run Club launches!

Natasha says her enjoyment of running has inspired her to set up The Aptus Run Club to encourage more people to get involved in the sport. The running group takes place weekly after office hours and aims to support people to get outdoors and be more active.

Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May) focuses on the benefits of movement for mental health. The Mental Health Foundation says that moving more can increase your energy, reduce stress and anxiety, and boost your self-esteem. Read their tips on how to get more movement into your every day life here.

During MHAW our group will get together to run whatever distance they are comfortable with, and Natasha says she is looking forward to more people joining them over the summer months.

Published on 9th May 2024

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