Fareham man to take on 156-mile run in Sahara Desert in aid of male mental health after father took his own life

JUST a few months ago a father-of-four took his own life – and now his son is determined to keep male mental health in the public eye with a ‘crazy’ marathon challenge.

Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 8:06 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 8:11 am
Danny Glavin from Fareham who is running in the Marathon Des Sables in memory of his dad Vince who died after a long struggle with mental illness. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (160319-1)

Danny Glavin describes his dad Vince as ‘more like his best friend’.

The 31-year-old from Fareham was left devastated after he found his 58-year-old father at his home.

Danny said: ‘I had to break down the door. It was just horrible.’

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Vince Glavin and son Danny at Wembley

‘He had a long struggle with mental health but he was the best dad and more like my best friend. I don’t think a day went by without us talking and there are no words to describe how I feel without him.’

The former Cams Hill School pupil decided to raise money for mental health charity MIND and raise awareness of male mental health by taking on the Marathon Des Sables –a run approximately six back-to-back marathons across the Sahara Desert all while carrying his food, water and tent on his back.

He said: ‘I think people think I am crazy and I probably am but I don’t do things halfheartedly. I have not really run since the Great South Run in 2012  and have only given myself a few weeks to train.

‘But it is important to me that I finish the race and I will be taking my dad’s ashes so he is with me on our last adventure.’

Vince Glavin, 58, from Fareham

Danny has been preparing for the challenge on April 7 by running every day with his backpack weighing between 6kg and 11kg strapped to his back, spending an hour a day in a sauna and not drinking alcohol.

He said: ‘It is going to be hard running in 50C heat with all my belongings on my back and at night it will be freezing but I think it will give me time to think about everything has happened.

‘I think most clearly when I am running and I think being alone in the desert will help me grieve.’

The Pompey fan added: ‘Not drinking alcohol has been difficult and I think it will be hardest when we play at Wembley and I won’t be able to celebrate it with a beer or few.’

Danny also wants to ensure that more people keeping talking about male mental health. 

The businessman said: ‘It is something that people are talking about more and more but there is still a stigma around men talking about their feelings.

‘They think they have to be macho but we need to make sure that there is more help and support out there for them to turn to when they feel this way.’

Danny is aiming to raise £2,000 for MIND and to donate visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=inmemoryofvince&pageUrl=5