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'I felt Nyall was with me' - Cromer teen's father on Mind charity marathon

PUBLISHED: 14:57 15 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:15 16 April 2019

Mearl Brown, left, and Sebastian Gasse, right, running the Brighton Marathon for Mind. Photo: Mearl Brown

Mearl Brown, left, and Sebastian Gasse, right, running the Brighton Marathon for Mind. Photo: Mearl Brown

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The father of a Cromer teenager who took his own life last year said he felt as if his son was with him during a marathon which helped him raise almost £4,000 for a mental health charity.

Mearl Brown has raised almost £4,000 running the Brighton Marathon for Mind. Photo: Mearl BrownMearl Brown has raised almost £4,000 running the Brighton Marathon for Mind. Photo: Mearl Brown

Mearl Brown lost his son, 19-year-old skatepark campaigner Nyall Brown, known as 'Smiley' in May last year after he had struggled with mental health for months.

And Mr Brown, who completed the Brighton Marathon on Sunday, said: “I kind of felt as if he was with me.

“It's nice knowing you're doing something for a good cause.”

The 45-year-old, who is now preparing to run his second 26.2 mile race in just two weeks, has urged others who are struggling to speak out and ask for help,

Mearl Brown, left, and Sebastian Gasse, right, running the Brighton Marathon for Mind. Photo: Mearl BrownMearl Brown, left, and Sebastian Gasse, right, running the Brighton Marathon for Mind. Photo: Mearl Brown

“There are helplines out there,” he said.

“There is support for young people and things people can do to not go down that road of loneliness.”

READ MORE: Father to run marathon for mental health charity Mind in memory of Cromer teenager Nyall 'Smiley' Brown

Mr Brown completed the race on Sunday, April 14, in four hours and 24 minutes, alongside his friend and fellow fundraiser, Sebastian Gasse.

Mearl Brown has raised almost £4,000 running the Brighton Marathon for Mind. Photo: Mearl BrownMearl Brown has raised almost £4,000 running the Brighton Marathon for Mind. Photo: Mearl Brown

Both men are fundraising for the mental health charity Mind, with Mr Brown raising £3,760.40 for the national arm of the charity, and Mr Gasse raising £1,200.80 for the Norwich and Central Norfolk branch.

“It went really, really well,” Mr Brown said.

“We ran together until about half way and then I finished about nine minutes ahead.

“There was a really good atmosphere and lots of people running for different charities.

“I met one lady running for the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) who had lost her brother to suicide.”

And the offshore worker from Cromer is now preparing to tackle the second part of his challenge: taking on the London Marathon on Sunday, April 28 - on his wife, Tracey's, 40th birthday.

He said: “In London, I just want to go down and enjoy it and enjoy the atmosphere and soak it all in.

“The banter that Nyall and I had about doing it was strong.

“I remember watching it with him on TV and saying 'I'd like to do it one day' and he always said I never would.”

The free Samaritans helpline can be accessed by calling 116 123 from anywhere in the UK.

To donate to Mearl Brown, visit his Virgin fundraising page.

To donate to Sebastian Gasse, visit his JustGiving fundraising page.

READ MORE: Coroner to warn mental health trust over staff not reading patients' notes

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