Running Head First is a not for profit organisation which utilises walking, jogging, running and physical activity to improve the mental health of the population in the North West England.

All of the Running Head First initiatives are evidence based interventions, underpinned by scientific research and we’re born from the past experiences of our founder Chris Redmond.

In 2015, Chris experienced a nervous breakdown after a long period of suffering with anxiety, stress and depression proceeded by a period of life recovering from those experiences which he considers the most harrowing time of his life.

Throughout his recovery, Chris utilised running to aid his recovery and to manage the symptoms of his ill mental health resulting in what has mostly been a successful transition in to ‘normal’ mental health. During this period, Chris had the support network of his family, friends and girlfriend – which, without them, his recovery would have potentially been impossible.

During recovery, Chris recognised how little was available in the form of physical exercise to assist those who are in similar situations he was in, along with complementary therapies such as counselling meditation and other holistic approaches to improving ill mental health, therefore, he decided to change that.

He consulted with his colleagues Lee Plant and Ashley Cox, who bring an extreme wealth of knowledge and experience of fitness, health and business to the organisation, and Running Head First was created.

The Running Head First Team

Our team is made up of individuals who are extremely passionate about fitness and mental health. You can read more about them here.

Christopher Redmond


Chris is the founder of Running Head First, the concept of which initially came through his own experiences of ill mental health and his practice of running to aid recovery.

Chris is extremely passionate about giving people the opportunity to overcome their mental health struggles with the use of running and physical activity. Having the platform of Running Head First to do that is fulfilling a long term ambition.

Ashley Cox


Ash has worked in Health & Fitness for the best part of a decade working in elite sport and advising on various aspects of athlete development. However, his main interest is public health.

He has published research papers in the world’s leading journals and presented his work at various conferences including the British Heart Foundation and the British Association of Sports and Exercise Scientists. Ash’s academic foundations include undergraduate degrees in strength and conditioning, sports and exercise science and, exercise rehabilitation.

Additionally, Ash have post graduate qualifications in sports and exercise medicine and nutrition and currently serves as a PhD candidate in sports and exercise science. His research areas include the investigation of physical activity and the relationship between mental and physical health status.

Lee Plant


Lee has worked within ‘Health & Fitness’ for nearly a decade now as a Personal Trainer. Working with hundreds of people has shown him the day to day struggles people face, not just in physical form but psychological too. He believes if we can improve people’s Mental Health, we can drastically improve every area of their life, hence his commitment to the Running Head First Organisation.

Liam Ennis


Exercise has always resonated well with Liam! This interest and passion led him to the University of Birmingham where he graduated with a 1:1 Bachelor’s Degree in Sport & Exercise Science, July 2019.

He became fascinated with the therapeutic potential exercise has in combatting disease and improving health. Since graduating, He has continued to pursue “exercise as medicine” as Head of Education at Redwood Performance, whereby he specialises in the extremely complex yet fascinating mechanisms behind exercise and mental health.

Liam is an experienced coach, coaching children’s multi-sports through to elite athletes. Liam’s ultimate goal in life is to merge my theoretical and practical knowledge together. To help support individuals with mental health issues through the medium of exercise; producing stronger, happier and healthier individuals. This is why he feels privileged to be working alongside the team at Running Head First.