Running helped Devon Dad improve his mental health

September 3, 2014 // Rachel Ellis

Steve Lawton, 46 from Devon was diagnosed with Bipolar in 2011 and took up running as a way to cope with the disorder. Running helped Steve re-build his life and he will be celebrating by taking part in the Vitality Bath Half Marathon (Vitality BATHALF) alongside his three daughters Rosie, Maisie and Flora.

Steve was diagnosed with Bipolar at a dark time in his life shortly after ending his twenty year marriage. Steve said: “I was diagnosed just over three years ago after destroying my marriage and leaving our family home. Our four children were devastated. The disorder caused me to live a fairly hedonistic lifestyle, never taking up regular exercise. In 2013 I made the decision to change my life around and I signed up for a 10k on behalf of mental health charity, MIND. I started to train and found that running really helped me cope with daily stressors and I slowly started to see a significant improvement in my wellbeing.

“Now that dark place is far behind me and I’m in a really happy and healthy state of mind. I have re-established my relationship with my children, which was my top priority, and I have reconstructed my home and work life.”

Steve and his three daughters will be running in the Vitality BATHALF taking place on Sunday 1st March 2015 to raise money for MIND.

Steve added: “After having a successful 10k race in May I decided that I wanted to challenge myself further. I’ve started to take my training up a gear at the moment I run once a week and go to the gym two to three times a week. As the race gets closer I will add in some longer training runs and run a couple of times a week.

“I’m really looking forward to taking part in the Vitality BATHALF; it will be a wonderfully special event for me as I am running it with my beautiful daughters. My children motivate and inspire me to keep moving forward and I can’t wait for us to all cross the finish line hand in hand.”

The Vitality Bath Half Marathon – which will see its 33rd year in 2015 – will take place on Sunday 1st March 2015.It is part of the Vitality Run Series, a new national series of eight leading UK road races including the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon.

The popular race is recognised as one of the biggest single day fundraising events in the UK with last year’s race seeing runners raise an excess of £2.million for more than 90 official charities.

The Vitality BATHALF starts and finishes on Great Pulteney Street, taking runners on a fast, flat course which straddles both sides of the river Avon taking participants on a tour of the picturesque city. The two lap course is perfect for both those new to running or experienced runners who are chasing a new PB.