Dr Alex completes 270-mile running mission for suicide prevention charity

Dr Alex completes 270-mile running mission for suicide prevention charity

Ruby Ward psychiatrist smashes his fundraising target after completing four marathons and three ultra marathons

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Alex Langford has now completed his final ultra-marathon meaning he has now racked up a breathtaking 270 miles for a suicide prevention charity.

The super-fit dad-of-one who works with Oxford Health has now completed four marathons and three ultra-marathons, smashing his £5k fundraising target for the charity Papyrus which helps young people at risk of suicide.

Speaking after completing his final race, the 62-mile Race to the Stones across The Ridgeway on Saturday,  the exhausted 33-year-old said: “I’m just glad it’s over and the money is in the bank. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me and given so generously. I couldn’t have done it without your encouragement and backing.”

Alex, who eats rice pudding to keep himself going on the gruelling events, took 12 hours 30 minutes to cross the finishing line.

He said: “The weather has actually almost perfect – the sun barely came out from behind the clouds. The time was of no consequence really, but I did fade a bit from my guide pace of 12 hours. I can go back to normal training soon, when my legs work.”

He decided to take on the challenge for Papyrus due to personal experiences. He explained: “In my work as a consultant psychiatrist I look after people who are at risk of suicide, and who have been bereaved by suicide.

“I have lost patients to suicide and been affected by it in my personal life too. It is hard for me to imagine a more traumatic thing to happen and I want to do everything I can to help reduce the chances of it happening again.”

Alex, who works at the 20-bed female inpatient Ruby Ward at the Whiteleaf Centre in Aylesbury, added: “My mum chose the charity because our family has been affected by suicide and I have too outside of my family, which both had a huge impact on my life.

“The loss of those people was devastating but ultimately lead me to do what I do now as a consultant psychiatrist. Looking after people who have been affected by suicide or are at risk of suicide is emotionally challenging, difficult, complicated and worrying, but it’s also incredibly valuable and rewarding.

“I have turned my own experiences into helping others. I’ve done these races for people like them and for the team, as well.”

Only three years ago Alex, who is a member of Headington Road Runners, couldn’t even run around the block let alone contemplate running a 26.2 miler.

“Like everyone else I started with one mile at 10 minutes and that was exhausting. It just takes practice and then your body allows you to go further and further, “ he said.

If you would like to contribute to Alex’s cause, please visit his fundraising page here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alexlangford

Published: 16 July 2019