Local runner aims to highlight condition

Claire and Alfie-Bear.
Claire and Alfie-Bear.

A Glengormley woman is hoping to highlight a serious health issue, while raising funds for a charity during a half marathon later this year.

Claire Linton will be taking on the Causeway Coast and Glens Half Marathon on September 23 in aid of charitable organisation, Aware NI.

The charity, which supports people with depression, has support groups across the country, as well as delivering outreach programmes.

Claire, who is a first-time mum to 13-month-old Alfie-Bear, is on the road to recovery after a battle with depression.

Commenting on her experiences, she said: “I suffered trauma due to the experience I had during my son’s birth. My trauma lead to Post Natal Depression, which in turn lead to Post Natal Pyschosis.”

Claire, who was a keen runner before she became pregnant, explained: “My depression sapped any desire to exercise, it sapped my desire for anything really - I had no interest in how I looked. There were days I never left the house. Once I received treatment, my medication is notorious for weight gain and that in turn added to my depression and I felt too self conscious to do the one thing I always loved - exercise.”

The legal secretary added: “Now I’m well on my road to recovery, it’s time to do something that will not only motivate me to get out again, but help to raise awareness for all the mums who have suffered in silence.”

Appealing to any mothers who are experiencing similar issues, Claire said: “Don’t ever be ashamed to ask for help. If there are mums out there struggling, reach out and ask for help. The NHS offers specialist perinatal clinical psychology treatment. If you feel you need this, ask for it.”

Claire has commenced her training programme ahead of the event. This involves running three days a week, resting for two days and incorporating strength training and cross training into the plan.

Claire has set up a fundraising page, with all monies going to Aware NI. If you would like to make a donation, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/clairebo-linton3?utm_source