Leah Vincent our Fundraising Manager ran, walked or jogged 3 miles per day for 30 days in November 2020

'I thought long and hard about how I wanted to be a part of this campaign and I came up with running or walking 3 miles

a day for 30days. When I was in my 20’s I was always in the gym and what I would consider very fit and active, two children later, I felt that running 3 miles once was going to be a big challenge in itself, let alone doing it for 30 days in a row. So, my beloved dog ruby and I went on our first run on the 1st November. I was so impressed with myself and Ruby, and we managed to complete the run in 36:42. I knew that my fitness would not allow me to run the 3 miles every day, so some days I would walk at a fast pace, which would take around 47 minutes. Ruby would come on a run with me once or twice a week, and as the days went by, my fitness was improving. I was also noticing a huge improvement in my mental health – I felt that I was thinking clearer, felt calmer and more positively in myself, and had much more energy than before.

Every day I tracked my 3 miles using Strava, and posted my activity on social media. Each time I would promote Open Road, and explain why I was taking on this challenge. By the time the first week had passed, I had already hit my £300 target. I was so amazed by all of the support shown by my friends and family daily. I was receiving messages of encouragement and people reaching out stating that they were, or knew someone who was struggling with substance misuse during this uncertain time. I was using my social media platform to bring awareness that everybody knows somebody who is struggling with drugs and alcohol, and they are not alone, there is help out there. 

As my fitness was improving daily, I set myself a challenge of completing the 3 miles in under 30 minutes by the end of the 30-day challenge. I was regularly hitting 31 minutes, but I could not quite get it under – until the 22nd run. It had been a stressful day with the children and I used all of the energy and emotion and put it into my run, and I actually achieved my goal! I was so happy, and proud of myself that I was able to do achieve what I had set out to do.

Throughout the 30 days, I had friends and family join me on the challenge, I even got my son and nieces to run with me.

The last run was quiet special, my brother-in-law, James and I set off to Heybridge Basin in the late afternoon, and we managed to complete the run in 30:29. The views were just beautiful and it was so peaceful. We both spoke about how exercise helps us mentally to cope with stressful situations, and we spoke of how the pandemic has affected us.

On the 30th November, I completed my last 3 miles, my body was aching, and I had blisters, but I had done it. I celebrated my achievements with a cup of tea surrounded by my Christmas decorations. The 30for30 challenge has shown me that there is good in this world, and people do care! So please if you feel you are able to support me and donate to this amazing cause then please go to my just giving page and donate what you can, www.justgiving.com/fundraising/leah-vincent1 or alternatively, set up a monthly direct debit by going to our website.

Every pound that is raised goes back into providing our clients with the best services, helping them to break the cycles of addiction and to live more meaningful lives.


If you are thinking of completing your own challenge then please get in touch, where we can support you to raise these vital funds while promoting Open Road.'