The latest winner in our Brooks competition series, Santosh Rai tells AW what makes him Run Happy

At just six months old, my daughter Newa was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a serious medical condition where there’s a build-up of excess fluid in the brain, causing the head to swell. It was so painful for me to watch my daughter go through surgery, that I took part in the British 10k in 2009 to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital where she was treated.

Angled Polaroid SantoshMy daughter’s health issues brought it home to me how vital health is to our happiness, but training for the race also made me realise what a great sense of well-being I got from running.

I decided to use my own experiences to campaign for better health in my home town in Nepal and to try to help other families there with sick or disabled children. With a small group of friends, I started the “Dharan Run” in 2011. The initial run attracted just 25 runners, but the latest event attracted over 1000!

In the meantime I have continued to run, becoming a regular at the Gunnersbury parkrun. Running has become a daily habit that has allowed me to live a happier and healthier life.

Angled Polaroid 1 santoshMy next mission, with the help of my club-mates at Ealing Southall & Middlesex AC, is to start my own parkrun in Northala Fields, my local park, so that I can get the Nepalese community in my neighbourhood “up and running”.

I get such a great sense of achievement from encouraging other people to take up running for their own health, especially in combination with fund-raising for good causes. That’s what makes me “Run Happy”.


Brooks believes in the transformative power of the run. The run can turn a day – or a life – completely around and can flat-out change the world.

That’s why each month they’re rewarding one AW reader for sharing what makes them Run Happy. We want to hear all about your Run Happy experience, whether it’s a first race, a new PB or a moment that changed your race around. It can be anything.

Each month we will pick our favourite story. Not only will it appear in Athletics Weekly, but the owner of that story will receive Brooks kit including footwear, a jacket and a tee.

Click here for further details and to submit your story.

On Twitter? Why not get social?! We’d love for you to share your stories and pictures on Twitter too – just tweet @AthleticsWeekly and @Brooksrunninguk using the hashtag #RUNHAPPYRACES.