A MAN aiming to run 200 miles across Britain to raise awareness of mental health problems kicked off his marathon from Wrexham.
Businessman Owen Cotterell is making his way between North Wales and Hull, on England’s east coast, calling at Rugby League stadiums along the way.
He began last week from Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground – home of the Crusaders – and is stopping off at St Helens, Salford, Wigan, Warrington and Huddersfield, Bradford and Leeds before finishing in Hull on Sunday.
Owen, 32, who runs a film production company named Mocha in Liverpool, was prompted to take up his gruelling challenge by the tragic suicide of former Wigan Warriors player Terry Newton in September last year. It is part of a wider campaign, called State of Mind, organised by the Rugby League to draw attention to the issues of mental health and wellbeing across the game from grass roots communities up to Super League players.
The RFL has agreed to lend its support by naming Round 27 of Super League fixtures throughout this week after the campaign.
A keen marathon runner, Owen said: “For my own mental health and wellbeing, I regularly use running as a healthy escape from the day-to-day stresses – so when I decided I wanted to do something more to promote the campaign, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate contribution than to run through all of our rugby league communities across the north of the country.”
Speaking as he ran between Huddersfield and Bradford yesterday, he added: “I have managed to remain injury free apart from the odd bout of cramp. I have been well looked after by the physios at the various grounds I have visited.”
Owen has set a fundraising target of £2,000 for his run, and has so far had pledges of about £850.
The money will be split between mental health charities.