North Norfolk fitness fan faces up to the big 5-0 with a ‘fifty and fabulous’ bucket list

Podiatrist Ellen Tatam (and her puppy Mabel) with fellow North Norfolk Beach Runner Jen Emery. The p

Podiatrist Ellen Tatam (and her puppy Mabel) with fellow North Norfolk Beach Runner Jen Emery. The pair have set themselves a series of challenges to celebrate their 50th birthdays and raise cash for mental health charity Mind. Picture: Karen Bethell - Credit: Archant

A north Norfolk podiatrist is ticking off events on a 'fifty and fabulous' bucket list, to raise funds for mental health charity Mind.

Inspired by her own battles with anxiety and depression, Ellen Tatam decided to celebrate reaching the big 5-0 by setting herself a series of challenges, including losing two stone, running a half marathon and hosting a string of fundraising events, from car boot sales to cake stalls.

'I have been on rock bottom, so I can empathise with other people going through the same thing,' Mrs Tatam explained. 'People look at you and think you've got everything going for you, but you just can't see it, so this was about taking back control.'

After joining the North Norfolk Beach Runners just over a year ago, Mrs Tatam got into her stride and, after embarking on her weight loss challenge, also began taking part in weekly Parkrun events at Sheringham, and signed up as a member of local triathlon club Tri-Harman.

'I think exercise really allows you to cope with the stresses of life and, for me, having that has been a huge help,' she said.

With the support of her friends and family, Mrs Tatam is now on the road to recovery and, keen to help others living with mental health issues, she came up with the idea of running a year-long series of events.

'Mind helped me when I needed them and what is brilliant is that they don't just see you when you are ill, they see you when you are in recovery and help keep you in recovery,' she said.

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Inspired by Mrs Tatam's efforts, her running pal Jen Emery, who also celebrates her 50th birthday this year, offered to help and, as well as running the Broadland half marathon together this weekend, the pair will be taking part in a sponsored zumbathon, running a coffee morning and hosting a joint birthday ball in the summer.

Mrs Emery, a former general manager for Suffolk Mental Health Services who now runs Cromer-based publishing company Salt, said: 'Running kept me sane at a time when life had a lot of stresses and strains and because I am nearly 50 and I used to work in mental health, I really wanted to help.'

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