The Leeds Half Marathon was part of a huge weekend for the Charity as we celebrated its 20th Birthday on Friday. To mark this significant milestone we hosted the 20th Anniversary Spirit of Recovery Awards in Nottingham, where people were recognised for their contribution to recovery. The day left no-one in any doubt about the power of recovery, the emotional journey it entails or the impact the organisation has made over the last 20 years. It was great to see all the people who have signed up to run with us at the Robin Hood Half Marathon in September and we signed up a few more on the day. If anyone out there is interested in running for us or supporting us on the day please contact me:


An early night was required to get up at 5 am and travel to Leeds. No problem getting to sleep, with Eurovision providing the necessary sleepiness!  The forecasted rain had been replaced by a sunny morning. Let’s face it, if we all got our day jobs as consistently wrong as a weather forecaster we would all be out of work. Still, really good running conditions at the start, can’t complain. Around the warm up area I had some very kind words from Sarah on my challenge, and she was going to get her husband to sign up for us in Nottingham. Leeds did a fantastic job of creating an inspiring atmosphere at the start and the crowds were already building, a theme that continued along the whole length of the course and especially in the cauldron of noise that greeted us in the final 400m and on ‘That Hill’!

I managed to pace this one well, probably to do with the fact that my App failed to work, so there was no added time pressure. Having no idea what pace I was running led to a sense of freedom, perhaps something I should learn from. With all those hills I still managed a very respectable 1:49:33, probably my best time for such a hilly half. I have to say I really enjoyed this one with great conditions overhead, a brilliantly organised, challenging course and a fantastic atmosphere everywhere I went.

What a great finishing area you gave us, Leeds.  However I did find it very unusual to see loads of people drinking beer in the finish area (especially considering the work of our Charity). Turned out the beer on offer was Erdinger Weissbier, displayed as being Alcohol Free – not strictly true as it says 0.5% ABV on the can. Advertising could do with being more clear!

Best Moments – Supporting the later finishers and seeing their faces on realising it really was the last corner and the last hill! The post-race massage was the best I have ever had and worth the half-hour queue.

Funniest Moment – Almost falling over in one of the downhill sections. Picture a child running down a hill who can’t stop, or the episode of Friends with Phoebe taking up running in Central Park and you’ve got me!

So – it’s 11 down and 9 to go. Also, I have managed to get through the last 3 half-marathons in 3 weeks and I’m already looking forward to Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon this coming Sunday. Will I cope with 4 in 4 weeks? Let’s see …


So the 20th Anniversary Spirit of Recovery Awards and Birthday Party went down a storm. Thanks to everyone who was involved in that event in any way and a huge well done to all the winners and those that were nominated. There are more birthday events on the way including a 1 Mile Challenge, a Zumbathon, a service users event for International Recovery Month in September and regular events at our social enterprise Café Sobar.

There are also a couple of brave individuals who are organising their own independent fundraising challenges in aid of Double Impact – see the links below to support these.

Gemma Grantham is doing a tandem skydive:

Charlotte Lynsey is doing a 20 mile hike between Nottingham and Mansfield:

If you want any information on any of these events please get in touch.


We are still looking for people to run the Robin Hood Half Marathon in September. Would you like to join us and raise funds to support our work? E-mail us at  or to find out more visit the charity partners info page on the marathon website. There is also the new One Mile Challenge this year where you can also raise money for the Charity. More details on both events can be found here:

Thanks to our service users, The Treat Kitchen, Buckles Solicitors and other supporters who are already signed up to run alongside staff from Café Sobar and Double Impact.

If you would like to make a donation to the campaign please click here.


I am still planning to attempt 5 and 6 weeks. Chester, North Lincs and Leeds completed with Liverpool to come this week and, with a fair wind, Derby on the 3rd of June!  I’ll post some updates on Twitter for you to @DI_Recovery & @DI_Runs.

Thanks for reading.

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