Runner Vikki takes part in promotional video for The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)
After only taking up running last year, Vikki Bannister has already been chosen to appear in a promotional video for the charity she has raised thousands of pounds for.
Vikki, who is head of art at Headlands School, started running following the passing of her husband Mark and has used exercise as a way to support The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).
The CALM charity is leading a movement against suicide.
Her inspiring story has been used in a new campaign by the charity and sports company Puma, to promote the physical and mental health benefits of running.
Vikki said: “Last year, I started running in memory of my late husband, Mark.
“He was a great runner, I followed him to every race proudly cheering from the sidelines.
“When the first lockdown hit, I was only three months into my grief and his first birthday without him was fast approaching. I took up running as a way to help cope with my grief. When I run I can feel him with me, like he is there supporting me telling me ‘Come on Babe, you’ve got this’.
“I feel close to him every time I go for a run and it gives me a great way to release any stresses of the day.
“I decided to organise a virtual 5k on his birthday and raised £1,500 in his memory for CALM in order to try to unite people in the strange times we were experiencing. People from up and down the country got involved, including many of the Lonely Goat Running Club with whom Mark and I are affiliated members.
“From this, I was approached by CALM and Puma after they chose me to be a part of their new campaign Spark Change Run, and share my story.”
A crew visited East Yorkshire to film Vikki in training and running with her beloved husky Pesky.
People can see the finished video and find out more about the campaign at www.thecalmzone.net/sparkchangerun/
Vikki can often be seen running around Bridlington after she has finished teaching in the classroom, supported by some of her colleagues.
She said: “Headlands has provided incredible support to me through the past 16 months and I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart.
“I sometimes run after school so if you see me please do say hello and shout your encouragement...it really does spur me on!”
Last month, she organised another fitness fundraiser to mark Mark’s birthday.
She encouraged anyone and everyone to join her in running, walking, cycling, skating or other ways of travelling a minimum of 5km – a challenge she named the This Beard Runs For Pizza Birthday Run as this was Mark’s pseudonym on Social Media.
People from all over the country and further afield in Spain, France and New Zealand, got involved, raising around £1,500, before tucking into a well-earned pizza at the end of the day.
Next up for Vikki is training for her first of two half marathons this year.
The first will be in and around Hornsea on Sunday, May 23, and for the second she has taken Mark’s ballot place in the London Landmarks Half Marathon, which goes through the heart of the capital on Sunday, August 1.
People can donate to Vikki’s fundraising for CALM at www.justgiving.com/thiswiferunsforthisbeardrunsforpizza