A TAUNTON runner has been congratulated by Sir Mo Farah after completing a half-marathon every day in February to raise money for Mind.

Harvey Morris ran 28 half-marathons in 28 days in memory of his friend Jack, who sadly passed away after a battle with his mental health.

He also wanted to raise awareness of Mind's work and highlight the importance of talking about mental health.

After Jack died, Harvey turned to Mind for support with his own mental health, which he said helped him "begin to move forward".

Harvey, who works in recruitment and has a young daughter, set himself the target of completing all his half-marathons in under two hours.

He started his weekday runs at around 5am so he could maintain a routine around his normal working hours.

He has raised £4,979 on his JustGiving page and has also received cash donations and money through Gift Aid.

With generous donations still coming in, Harvey has increased his fundraising target from £2,800 - which he passed within days of starting his challenge - to £10,000.

His campaign has gained a lot of traction online, and he received social media ‘shout outs’ from a lot of people – including a four-time Olympic gold medalist.

Somerset County Gazette: Sir Mo Farah encouraged people to donate to Harvey's fundraiser in a video shared on social media. Picture: Mo Farah, FacebookSir Mo Farah encouraged people to donate to Harvey's fundraiser in a video shared on social media. Picture: Mo Farah, Facebook

“The running has had really high publicity, and I’ve had 150 donations and people shouting me out,” said Harvey.

“Sir Mo Farah said well done to me on Instagram with a link to my JustGiving, which he asked people to click on.

“That was one of the highlights of the month.”

Addressing Harvey in a video shared to his Instagram and Facebook followers at the end of February, Sir Mo said: “I just want to say congratulations for completing 28 half-marathons in 28 days.

“Let’s click on the button everyone, let’s raise as much as we can. It’s still open, click on the link.

“Harvey, congratulations!”.

Discussing the toll his runs took on his body, Harvey said: “Once I got around halfway through the challenge, it got easier to recover from the runs.   

“I knew when the warning lights were going to come on.

“I ate my body weight in food and drank as much water as I could to stay hydrated through the month.”

Since the end of the challenge, Harvey has continued his fundraising efforts with businesses he works with and local schools, which he hopes will be enough to bring his total up to £10,000.

He said: “I’ve got to be conscious of people fundraising for other things like the war in Ukraine, but I think enough people will see the JustGiving link over the next few weeks to do it.”

He completed some of his half-marathons with other people – including some he had never met before – and said it was an important experience to discuss mental health openly with others. 

“I’ve gained so many friends from running with total strangers this month and being transparent and open with them,” he said.

“Everyone’s got something to say and a story to share, and it’s really uplifting to see people speaking about it.”

Ian O’Reilly, Head of Community & Events Fundraising at Mind, said: “This is such an amazing achievement by Harvey, and we are so thankful to him for choosing to fundraise for Mind.

“He has completed such a tough challenge in such a short space of time - running 28 half-marathons in almost as many days is incredible.

“We do hope he’s had a chance to put his feet up since finishing!

“Every donation we receive enables us to support the one in four of us who experience a mental health problem every year.

“This allows us to provide information and support, and improve services such as the Mind Infoline, legal line and our online peer support community, Side by Side, so we can be there for as many people who need us as possible.”

For more information and to donate to Harvey's JustGiving page, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/harveymorris33