Bus driver Gerard Williams, 45, was selected as the first-ever Running Mayor for Kensington and Chelsea to help make running more accessible within his local community. Tasked with inspiring more black, brown and other ethnically diverse groups in the area to be active, Gerard speaks to us about why he’s running The Vitality Big Half this year.
How has this year been for you?
This year and last year have been challenging. I’ve lost family and friends. I am a bus driver. I’ve been working right through lockdown; it has been difficult at times but has kept me in a routine and has allowed me to keep up my running game.
How has running helped your mental and physical health during the last 18 months?
Running has helped me mentally, physically and spiritually. It has allowed me to stay grounded and not get frustrated with the lockdown. It has allowed me to remain positive.
What does community mean to you?
UNITY; Togetherness; a Support Network. That’s what community means to me.
Are you part of a running community?
As well as being the Running Mayor for Kensington and Chelsea, I’m a Running Ambassador for the Emancipated Run Crew.
There is a saying that ‘It takes a village to raise a child’: communities pick you up, help you seek support and make you feel protected.
There is still a lot to be done in the running community on all levels, especially when it comes to encouraging those (like myself) to be part of the running world.