Prince Harry attended the openning day of the London Marathon Expo and met Best Beginnings runner Alistair Bates

When 62 year old, Alistair Bates crosses the finish line of the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 23rd April, he knows he will be helping to change the conversation around mental health.

Alistair is a supporter of Best Beginnings, one of Heads Together’s eight official charity partners, working to try and end the stigma around mental health. Every single runner will be given a blue Heads Together headband to wear and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will be there on the day to cheer them on.

Today Alistair (pictured above, third from left) met Prince Harry at the Marathon Expo:

“He spoke to us for about five minutes. When he opened up the other day, he was really opening the door for all of us to do the same. I went into early retirement in 2009, from my career in special education following a breakdown that happened so suddenly, overnight, that it was classed as an accident. Talking to people about what I was going through - to my wife and my counsellor - helped to get me through – two heads are definitely better than one.  I then began to exercise after 18 months of doing literally nothing – unable to face the world. Exercise is the one thing I felt that I could control so exercising and setting targets, like the London  Marathon,  has been vital to my recovery”

- Alistair Bates, Best Beginnings Marathon Runner, on the Marathon, mental health and meeting Prince Harry