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Deborah James

Q&A with Deborah James

Deborah James is a broadcaster, writer and campaigner who is living with Stage 4 cancer. She is one of the hosts of BBC Radio 5 live’s You, Me and the Big C podcast and can be found on Twitter and Instagram @bowelbabe.

Why did you start running?
Running has been a part of my life for many years, but since my cancer diagnosis it’s had a whole new meaning. I run to feel free. I run to remind myself and be grateful to my body for getting me through all it has, despite years of brutal treatments.

What motivates you to run?
I run for those who aren’t here and for a those who wish they had another day here to run. I run to feel alive.

How often do you go out running?
Around five times a week in the summer – less in the winter! I don’t like the cold! My treatment makes me very sensitive to it! Maybe you’ll find me inside on a treadmill...

Celebrate You is all about running for your head and your heart. How has running helped improve the mental health of your club members?
Exercise, and especially running, helps me deal with the rollercoaster of living with cancer. We know that exercise reduces stress and anxiety and cancer brings on lots of that worry!

What would be your advice for a first-time runner or someone considering taking up running?
Don’t care about how slow you are. Put your trainers on and call yourself a runner!

You’re running the first-ever virtual Vitality London 10,000 this month – why should other people sign up and join you?
While we can’t be together physically, we can be there virtually in spirit. Challenges remind us of the positives of how we adapt when presented with challenges. Together, we’ve got this.