We caught up with one of this Sundays (23/07/17) UKRunChat hour co hosts, Dan Keeley who tells us about his upcoming challenge.

Tell us about your challenge….

5 years ago I was diagnosed Bipolar. Now I’m running 1250 miles from Rome To Home to share my story & keep men alive by talking.

The adventure starts Friday 25th August at the Colosseum and finishes 65 days later (all being well) on Saturday 28th October at the London Eye – and I’d love to have as many of you reading this to join me for those last few days in the UK!

Averaging 20 miles a day (whilst being kind to myself during those first few weeks) the route roughly follows the Via Francigena which links the Vatican to Canterbury. My route heads North West from Rome, winding up through Tuscany and Sienna before crossing the spine of Italy and approaching the Alps. Then it’s up & over the Great St Bernard Pass from Aosta to Montreux, then North from Lake Geneva to Paris then across the channel from Dieppe to Newhaven. The Home Leg then winds over the south aspens to Eastbourne, then up through East Sussex and Kent to Sevenoaks & Bromley ahead of the final day’s blast to Greenwich Park and over to the London Eye.

Fancy getting involved? I’d LOVE to have as many of you joining me for the ride and running with me, whether that’s over the South Downs or the final blast along the Thames.

Bring it on!

Why have you chosen this as a challenge?

In the summer of 2012 I experienced a full-blown manic episode when on holiday in Italy at the time which resulted with me losing my mind and preaching from the central lane of a major motorway at rush hour. This came after 6 months of not looking after myself and not taking my foot off the gas. What followed was time spent in psychiatric wards, a clear diagnoses of Bipolar Disorder, then the crippling depression which had me wanting to take my own life.

Now 5 years on, though the love & support & professional guidance (on the NHS) I’ve received, I’m now using this adventure as a celebration of all those who’ve supported me and a platform to share the positive journey since that crazy summer, all with the goal of playing my part to normalise the conversation surrounding mental health issues, battling the stigma, giving hope to others suffering out there and ultimately to keep men alive by talking.

How much are you aiming to raise and how can people sponsor you if they would like to?

I am aiming for £12000 and People can sponsor me by visiting www.rometohome.com/donate

People can also follow the adventure and get involved via www.rometohome.com, or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @IamDanKeeley.