In October 2019, I managed to find motivation to run a half-marathon in Bournemouth for Cancer Research… I could barely pick something up off the floor when I set this goal. I was inspired by my Sister’s endurance as a survivor of breast cancer. I decided there was no reason for me not to endure a half-marathon to raise money for Cancer Research and the amazing work that they do.

Runner Feature - Shane Roy Mitchell RunThrough Running Club LondonAs you can see in my pictures, I was carrying a lot of luggage. Not just physically but mentally. I’d been through a rough bereavement and had withdrawn from the world. This was my first step outside my comfort zone, it saved my life. I’d battled through training. My self-critic was all over me right up until the day of the run, I had the worst case of imposter syndrome and thinking of the unthinkable. I remember saying to my best friend on the day “I will run a Half-Marathon today, even if I arrive on my face”. I was motivated because I promised my sister and publicly held myself acocuntable. It was a real turning point for me and a great feeling to raise just under £1000.

I booked the Victoria Park half-marathon as I was sat in an ice-bath recovering. Talk about runners bug… Just after crossing the finish line of Victoria Park, I met the wonderful Co-Founder of RunThrough, Matt Wood who told me about the first ever Blackburn 10k (as I was wearing a Blackburn Rovers top).

Going back home and running a 10k in my home town, a place I never personally associated with fitness really broadened my horizons. I become one with RunThrough and the community. The work they do to provide a space for people to become better is amazing. The positivity of the staff is something that has helped cement my mindset as an athlete.

Runner Feature - Shane Roy Mitchell RunThrough Running Club London

This 10k was in November 2019 and since then a lot has changed. Being able to run 13.1 miles at 100kg with 35kg of body-fat caused a mental shift. I started to love and back myself. I knew that if I kept setting goals, there is nothing I cannot do. I continued to work away at these fitness goals and after a year not really coming to terms with the beauty of a calorie deficit; 2021 had an extra focus, I was to continue on my athletic progression but really address my eating habits and environment design. On new years day 2022 I completed my ‘New Year, New Marathon’ campaign. I ran a looped unofficial marathon (28 loops) for the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) and after a year of habitual change too, I weighed in at a whopping 77kg and 95% of that 23kg loss was body-fat. How much of that was because the Marathon had just emptied me? That is a question for another marathon.


During the 2021 period, I took up the sport of CrossFit which says a lot about how different my confidence level is now. CrossFit has a very strong community and culture, it can be overwhelming at first. It is mindblowing to me how confident I am walking into different CrossFit boxes considering that getting out of bed was once the hardest job in the world. I have next to no anxiety and very few doubts. I have the confidence to embrace failure. I have the confidence and tranquility to work with vulnerable adults and children. I have the confidence to help others with their weight loss without feeling like an imposter. I enjoy CrossFit, and as a strength and conditioning based sport that challenges you mentally, it has massively complimented my running and my confidence.

December 2021, I ran the Blackburn 10k again. Two years apart. I’d gone from 1hr and 14 mins to sub 57 minutes. I enjoyed it more too and mostly because the first 10k was with 20kg of physical and emotional baggage. Running is a lot more fun now. There is no negative voice in my head, It’s almost as though there is no voice at all on race days. I am guilty of getting to the finish line and not really knowing how I got there, nor taking in spectators because it’s often just me, the rhythm of my footsteps and breathing. It’s complete catharsis, especially when I know I’ve done my training in full. I love all RunThrough races but Blackburn 10k is my favourite and I am biased. I have a personal connection with it, I see the buzz it creates within the town and its influence is immeasurable.

The fact I often run races in a state of semi-consciousness is a sign of not just my weight and athletic progression, but my mental shift too. Every workout and run used to be a nasty battle. This translated into my everyday life too. I used to be scared to leave my house because of the amount of anxiety that my self-critic had put over me. I didn’t want to be seen. My brain was a mile a minute but that is all alien to me now. I get excited to go to sleep because I wake up with a goal and the confidence that I will achieve it. I look in the mirror everyday and don’t avoid eye contact. I can turn my brain off during workouts and runs and back on again. I enjoy addressing weaknesses and failures knowing that I have the perseverance to progress away from them.

Runner Feature - Shane Roy Mitchell RunThrough Running Club London

One thing that drives me more now than ever, is knowing that other people are going through it too. I am driven to help others around helping myself. I work with a Non-Profit Organisation called The 180 Project, I always maintain that my social media inspires others and my DM’s are open to connect with others who are looking to lose that physical and mental weight: https://linktr.ee/shaneroymitchell.

So this passage, as long as it may be, is a very brief account of my journey and it’s only the introduction. I am a big believer in the butterfly effect. What if RunThrough didn’t host a run at Victoria Park near my flat. What if it wasn’t the week after my first ever race and I wasn’t impulsed by the runners high. I wouldn’t have experienced the positive minds at the event, I wouldn’t have been told about the 10k in my hometown. It goes on. There are many different systems that have changed the course of my life dramatically. However, I will never overlook the effect that the RunThrough community has had on my life; it has played a great part in saving it.


Many Thanks,

Shane Roy Mitchell