Run Talk Run is a weekly 5km gentle jog, and Walk Talk Walk is a weekly walk.
Before every meet there is a window of time to meet the other participants and say hello to the Leader.
It's alright if you're a little anxious and quiet - we all 'get it' in this community.
The leader then explains the logistics of the route (reminding the group that the run is gentle and that there is no pressure to "keep up"), and that at the forefront of our meet-ups is support... this really is a safe space to talk about how you're really doing.
Run Talk Run was born in October 2017, when the founder Jess Robson was in a very dark place with her depression.
Finding London an overwhelming place to be during this time, she ended up at her parents’ in East Sussex most weekends in an attempt to escape the pressure that came with feeling like she needed to "keep up" whilst simultaneously battling dark thoughts, daily tears, and a severe lack of motivation.
Running was an outlet for Jess, and she discovered she found it easier to open up while in the outdoors... more so, than when she was sitting inside with her therapist! And so the penny dropped.
We need to make "being honest" about our mental health far less intimidating. We need to normalise the conversation, and so the first run was arranged. It took months of "no shows" and very slow traction to get Run Talk Run moving (pun intended).
There were plenty of runs that Jess would show up to, waiting in the cold outside Monument Station and ending up running alone. However, with Spring time and a new bag drop location, the momentum started to build and there was soon a consistent small throb of 4-5 runners attending the runs every Thursday evening.
The first run set up outside of London was led by Jen, in Peterborough. This was the catalyst for other community champions up and down the UK (and, now, all over the world) to begin their own Run Talk Runs, too.
Now we are a global community of mental health warriors, all supporting each other, running with each other, and reminding each other that it truly is ok to not be ok. Like this!
In November 2020 we launched Walk Talk Walk, which is the same premise as our runs but without the jogging!