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Made in Chelsea star returns to ‘second home’ to complete six marathons in six days

I was born in London but my dad is from Ballymena and I moved here when I was young.”

Made In Chelsea star Josh Patterson doing marathons in Northern Ireland

Made In Chelsea star Josh Patterson doing marathons in Northern Ireland

Josh Patterson

Made In Chelsea star Josh Patterson doing marathons in Northern Ireland

Steven MooreSunday World

Made In Chelsea star Josh Patterson has “had a ball” running six marathons in six days in Northern Ireland in his bid to raise £1m for the Samaritans.

The 33-year-old, who grew up in Northern Ireland, has taken on a gargantuan challenge to run 76 marathons in 76 consecutive days, in 76 different cities across the UK.

And he’s doing to raise awareness of mental health issues having suffered from crippling anxiety when he was younger and having come close to suicide himself when he was just 22.

Last week he completed his 14th marathon in a row when he ran his sixth and last set of 26.2 miles in Northern Ireland.

“I started this back on February 27th and it won’t be over until May 13th when I run the final marathon in London,” says Josh.

“It’s been really hard but I’ve had a ball here in Northern Ireland – it’s my second home. I was born in London but my dad is from Ballymena and I moved here when I was young.

“I played rugby for Ballymena for two years when I was 20 and I love it here. When I set out to do this challenge I knew Northern Ireland would be one of the best places and I was right – I’ve had great support from Armagh to Bangor to Belfast.”

Northern Ireland only has six cities and Josh said he adamant he’d be running all of them as part of his fundraising bid for mental health.

He says he thinks he even successfully navigated the tricky issue of whether to call it Derry or Londonderry when he ran round the Walled City on Wednesday.

Josh Patterson

Josh said: “I didn’t know what to call it because I know it can upset people so the guy from the city who ran with me called it Derry so I stuck to that!

“We had great weather in Bangor and Derry, the sun shone and the only thing troubling me was running round Derry with my back in spasm.

“We’d slept in a Tesco car park the night before in our camper van so it wasn’t ideal and the back seized up overnight but I got through it.

“Visually Derry was one of the most beautiful marathons I’ve had but I was in a lot of pain. Luckily I have a good team supporting me along the way and the body is an amazing thing. It will hopefully soon adapt to the challenge and accept that running a marathon every day is just the new norm.

“I know I will suffer but it will be worth it. I keep telling myself the feeling of regret if I gave up would outlast the momentary pain!”

Josh is one of the UK’s leading influencers following his time on Made In Chelsea where he and fellow castmate Binky Felstead fell in love and had daughter India together before splitting up in 2018.

Josh was one of the more popular members of the reality show which is unusually part real and part scripted.

Having already conquered Scotland and completing 8 marathons in eight days Josh arrived in Bangor on Tuesday for his first steps on Irish soil before running the gruelling distance in Derry, Armagh, Newry, Lisburn and finally Belfast.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 50 and Josh has launched Run 4 1 Million as a fundraising bid to prove anything is possible. He is hoping to raise £1 million for the charity, which would allow them to fund 200,000 life saving phone calls.

And Josh says the more parts of the country he visits the more he can see how mental health problems are a massive issue that need to be funded properly and discussed.

“I love running and I love meeting new people,” says Josh. “I took this on even though nine out of ten people I suggested it to told me not to do it – including my parents – because of what might happen.

“But I’m in a privileged position and the world is a noisy place so you need something smart and dramatic to capture people’s attention.

“I like to test myself and I’ve been graced with the body and mind to be able to take on events like this. I have also faced a lot of adversity and I’ve been to some very dark places, even contemplating taking my own life.

Made In Chelsea star Josh Patterson doing marathons in Northern Ireland

“My life has changed so much since that moment and I’m now in a place where I want to show others they are not alone, and things can and will get better.

"Through testing my own limits with endurance sport, I have built strength, resilience, and best of all, a community I love. Setting myself near impossible challenges has been a vital tool to attract attention and to shine a light on mental health.

“Those dark days are behind me but when I travel around all these cities you can see how people are struggling with their mental health.

“It’s an education when you visit these cities and see people struggling with unemployment and the cost of living and all the stresses those things bring.

“There’s a real lack of funding for people suffering from mental health problems. You understand why people are struggling so much and I just want to raise the issue and hopefully raise money to help.

“It’s so important people can access support. When I had my issues I was fortunate I had the money to be able to get help but so many people can’t afford that. The Samaritans offer that support for free and do a brilliant job.

“I’m just hoping this challenge will raise enough money to help people in all 76 cities I run.”

Made In Chelsea star Josh Patterson doing marathons in Northern Ireland

The former reality TV star is no stranger to seemingly impossible tasks having broken the world record for an able-bodied male to travel the length of Great Britain in a wheelchair.

In 2019 he completed the gruelling 900 miles from John O'Groats to Land's End in just 19 days as part of a bid to end stigmas surrounding mental health and disabilities – pushing himself in a wheelchair the equivalent of two marathons a day.

He was inspired to embark on the exhausting fundraising effort by best pal Ben Tansley.

Ben was left paralysed after a motorbike accident almost two years ago. It happened as he made his way to see Josh's new-born daughter India.

And two years later Josh became the first person to run a marathon in all four countries of the UK within 24 hours – and included travel time between the countries.

If you want to donate or find out more about the challenge Josh is easy to find on Instagram or go to

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