My name is Nathan Richardson, I am 28-year-old father of one girl, ex-soldier and mechanical engineer from Greater Manchester. In January 2019 (pictured), I was feeling down, depressed and unhappy with my weight. This was compounded by the loss of two close family members in the space of a year and I turned to running as an escape. I had only run as far as 13 miles before but to improve my mental and physical health I decided I would run the Manchester marathon in April of the same year. Shortly after signing up, I learnt that my brother was going to run the Paris marathon. Despite the fact that this was to take place a week after the Manchester one, I agreed to run the Paris marathon as well. After thinking one marathon was impossible and so far out of my reach, I trained for the next three months and completed my first and second marathon in the space of seven days. This is where I started to believe in myself and wonder what else I could achieve. 7 weeks later I ran my third marathon this time on a trail. But I needed much more.
I started to see the positive effects that running was having on my mental health and the joy it was giving me. This is what inspired me to begin planning this challenge and, in doing so, combine two things I love: running and football. I was also motivated by a sense of adventure and by the prospect of running around the country and seeing the different places, meeting people in the communities and also raising money for charity. I couldn’t think of anything better. I had always wanted to visit all 92 grounds and had read about a few people who had done it and began to wonder if I could run to them all. I found a picture online of all the grounds dotted across the map and started to get to work….
With this challenge I want to test myself mentally and physically but the main aim is to raise money for charity and get people involved to raise awareness around mental health and break the stigma. I will set off on this challenge on 14th March 2020 - this will mark less than 12 months since I ran my first ever marathon. It is amazing what people can achieve with a little hope and determination. Running, or any physical exercise for that matter, can help so much with mental health and I want to spread that message. No matter how low someone goes there is always a way back and if I can help just one person realise that then this whole thing will be a success.