Backing the run

I'm backed by kind sponsors, collaborating with great run partners and supported by a hard-working crew. Let me introduce you...


"I am honoured and grateful to be supported by fantastic brands that share my values and ambitions for this challenge. From pants to porridge, I’m backed by products I choose to use, day in day out, products I depend on."


Runderwear is the original performance underwear. As the product range expands, Runderwear’s dedicated ethos remains focused on creating chafe-free comfort for runners.

“Runderwear is delighted to be supporting Matt on his incredible challenge of running 21 consecutive ultras across the country. Mental health has always been close to the team’s heart, so when we were given the opportunity to support Matt while he raises money for CALM it was a no brainer for us!”

Matt says

“I discovered Runderwear at a marathon expo and have been running in them ever since – for every single run. Asking them to help was an obvious thing to do. When you run as far as I do, comfort is paramount and the product they make is exceptionally good. It also helps that the team at Runderwear are so friendly and supportive – no pun intended –  and I look forward to running the Poole to Beaulieu Ultra with them, with me in their pants of course!”



ROAR Porridge™ is a wholefood, nutrient-rich, instant porridge. It is simply 50% freshly ground organic seeds & nuts – the rest is freshly-ground organic wholegrain oats and bran fibre.


“We’re proud to be fuelling Matt with Roar each morning of his incredible journey. Our sustainably-produced, seed-powered porridge is good for his gut and his mind; delivering a big impact on his performance, but not on the planet.”

Matt says

“My day starts here, now in training and on every ultra. Fuelling with high quality nutrition is critical and so is convenience so I love that both come in the bag. It also has a taste that reminds me a little of my childhood cereal, the one which gave you a warm glow. This porridge is warmer because I know that it’s made with love, considerate of the planet I love, by people I love.”


Auxiliary Works is an independent company that believes we all do better from time spent outdoors, but that what’s good for us personally also needs to be good for the planet.

AUxiliary SAYS

“Auxiliary are proud to support Matt on his Run The Country Ultra. Mental health and suicide prevention is a subject close to our hearts, and if we can help Matt in his mission to raise awareness and support CALM along the way then it’s a perfect fit for us”..”

Matt says

“Auxiliary make on-point kit for runners and I love both the design and integrity in sustainable production. My noggins has been protected from the bitter sea and Downs winds by Auxiliary’s beanie throughout the winter training months and their trucker cap is my go-to when I’m driving to and from training runs. I’m delighted to have them support what we are doing, raising awareness with their fans and followers.”



“We choose nutritious and delicious, convenient and wholesome, economically sustainable and socially impactful. From the snacks we make, to the way we work, live and give back, our goal is to make KIND® not just a brand but also a state of mind and a community that works together to build a kinder world.”

“There are times on the run when I need something sweet, a treat. KIND bars are my go-to super-convenient indulgence and I’m so pleased they are backing CALM.”

CJ Skinhealth

CJ Skinhealth SAYS

“An athlete’s skin will face heightened challenges. Our products are designed to work with athletes in the harshest conditions, to both prepare the skin, and also protect it from the vigours of an active lifestyle – much like Matts! 

When I heard about Matt, and the Run the Country Ultra, I was blown away by his dedication and the tough challenge he has set himself. If our products can go any way towards helping him on this journey, and protecting his skin from the harsh conditions he is bound to face along the way, then I am delighted to be involved, supporting both him and what is a very worthy cause. I wish matt luck, we’re behind him all the way!”   

“During ultra-distance training and races, especially a multi-stage endurance feat like Run the Country, every detail matters. I want my skin to be protected and post run, cleansed and rejuvenated. Of all my rituals, using CJ Skinhealth is one of my favourites; I feel refreshed after using the cleanser and the luxurious feel of the moisturiser is sublime. After a day on the trails, CJ Skinhealth is like a decadent trip to the spa- I love it! I’m delighted that they are supporting mental health as well as skinhealth – welcome onboard!”


mountain king

mountain king SAYS

“Here at Mountain King, our aim is to help achieve the best they can; we want to make ‘the dark side’ of a run a bit easier. The MK team want to ensure all matt’s training for this event doesn’t go to waste and that the best version of Matt turns up at the start line in September, and crosses the finish line a true Trailblazer.” 

“When the going gets tough – or steep – using running poles is a godsend. My Skyrunner Ultras are super-light and ready to take the strain as the path gets harder. And believe me, it will!”



Many runs have a partner; an organisation that shares my values and the purpose of this run. I’m going to be motivated by these partners and grateful for them promoting what CALM and RTCU care about; raising awareness and money to save lives.

Love Trails

We are delighted to announce that Love Trails Festival are the official partners of the Windsor to London Ultra on Friday, October 1st, 2021, the ultimate stage of the Run the Country Ultra. This 52km ultramarathon winds its way along the Thames and will see Matt Bagwell cross the finish line of his gruelling 1050km run across every county of England. Friends of Love Trails Festival, and Love Trails Collective members are all invited to participate in this emotionally charged day, starting with a celebration at 7.30pm in Windsor and ending at a secret location in Central London, to be confirmed. Runners can join Matt for the entire 52km or any part of the run. Runners are also very welcome to support Matt on any of the other 20 ultras across the country. Details can be found here.

In the months ahead, Matt will continue to work with Love Trails, teaching breathwork for runners and learning from the amazing community at events and on the Love Trails Collective.

Theo, founder of Love Trails says,

“The last 12 months has taught us all that good mental health matters more than we ever realised. Love Trails is proud to be supporting Matt and Run the Country Ultra to raise awareness for mental health this year. Matt’s run will help to reduce the stigma around talking about mental health in the UK running community, a cause we are passionate about. Runners can join us and Matt on Oct 1st for the Windsor to London day. You can join us for the first 10km of this stage, or for the full 52km ultramarathon into London. We are all really excited to be part of something with such a great potential to effect positive change on a big scale. Roll on Oct 1st!”

Matt says

“I am very excited that Love Trails are supporting the final leg of my incredible run. The programme of classes and community support they offer is already invaluable during my training and I know their participation on the day will carry me to the finish line. Sharing a beer with them all at the end is surely a thought I will carry with me every kilometre between the start in Cornwall and London, 1050km later!”

The Love Trails website is here. 



JESS, founder of Run Talk Run says,

“It is hard to articulate the power in what Matt has set out to do here – not only raise a lot of money to support others, but also promote the idea of community and a sense of togetherness through running. Community and togetherness are key values of Run Talk Run and we are so proud to call Matt our friend and support him on this epic journey.”


“Run Talk Run is a godsend. I go to both the Brighton and Mile Oak group whenever I can, knowing that I will have a good chat in a caring community. Everyone is so welcome and it’s been a great way to develop new friendships in a new place. Run Talk Run is a go-to, must-do every week!”


The Run Talk Run website is here. 

sport in mind

Sport in Mind is an independent multi-award winning mental health charity, formed in Reading, Berkshire in 2010, with a simple mission;


“To improve the lives of people experiencing mental health problems through sport and physical activity”.


 They are the UK’s leading mental health sports charity and deliver physical activities (sports, dance, walking and movement, gardening and exercise) projects in association with the NHS in order to aid recovery, promote mental wellbeing, improve physical health, combat social isolation and empower people to move their lives forward in a positive direction. 

sport in mind SAYS,

 “We are delighted to be involved in your run. Our mission is to use sport to improve people’s mental health in partnership with the NHS so Matt’s challenge and story really resonates with us. As a charity, we strive to raise awareness of the benefits of being active; we are sure Matt will be reaching a lot of people who could benefit from our work.”


Matt SAYS,

“Local charities need support, to ensure there is awareness for the services they provide, and sufficient funding to sustain those services. Running with a Sport in Mind tee on the Poole ultra, helping shine a light on their work, epitomises the purpose of this run.”


The Sports in Mind website is here. 

myles associates


“Good mental health is fundamental to living well. At some point in our lives, we will have been aware that we perhaps weren’t functioning as well or feeling as good as we usually would. And those times are pretty difficult. But for some, struggling with mental health is an exhausting daily battle.

Maintaining good mental health and wellbeing are important to Myles Associates; we have all experienced times when we’ve seen friends or family struggle and have felt pretty powerless against something so enormous and consuming. We put mental health and wellbeing at the heart of everything we do – whether it be supporting colleagues or creating products and solutions that aim to reduce stress and boost confidence amongst our clients. As sales enablement and activation specialists, we understand how highly pressured the sales environment can be and so we design tools that will help salespeople to meet their challenges, whilst maintaining a sense of balance and wellbeing.

When we heard about the extraordinary challenge that Matt had set himself, we were really keen to get involved and help him to achieve his goal. We’re thrilled to be part of the team and to be able to reach out to the many charities and groups on his route, who are working so hard to support mental health in their local communities. We want to raise awareness of what they offer, help them to connect with other likeminded organisations and get people talking about mental health. And of course we’d also love to see Run The Country Ultra raise some much needed funds for CALM. Good luck Matt – you’ve got this and we’re right by your side!”

Matt SAYS,
“One of the most important aspects of this run is local activation. CALM has some awareness nationally, especially in the South East and would like to be better known and accessible across the country. Nikki’s team has been working to contact local mental health organisations and running groups, asking them to be involved. Dozens of runners are joining me as a consequence and each one will share their story and CALM message. I couldn’t have done this leg work without Myles Associates.”

Meet the Crew

It takes more than one person to run the country; it takes a whole crew. Matt is being helped by a group of dedicated people, who all share his ambition for the challenge and the purpose behind it.



“It’s the unexpected mountains that make you stronger.


Matt says

I knew when I conceived the Run the Country Ultra that I wouldn’t be able to complete a 1000km+ endurance challenge without a brilliant team of supporters, friends and sponsors. There also needed to be a core team, working very closely, to get this body across all the trails, over all the mountains and sustain focus and resilience mile after mile, day after day.

At the heart of this team is my coach. I am really happy to be working with Mags Dempsey – @magsmay_d on Instragram. Maggie is an accomplished runner, the founder of @playinthewilduk – an event for a community of trail runners – and ambassador for a flurry of brilliant brands who support her sport.

What attracted me to working with Maggie is multi-faceted. She is generous and kind with a passion for running. She’s also very straightforward and straight talking. She is far more aware of my undertaking than I am, with her background in the elite running world and around multi-day events. She can pre-empt what my body will have to endure, as well as what I have to manage in my mind.

She is also someone who asks for discipline. She makes it quite clear that this is down to me, she cannot make me train, she cannot make me condition. She can only illuminate the path to success, I have to run it.

I expect highs and lows – in training and on the run. Strong days and tears. Mostly mine. What I know is that Maggie will endure.

Michelle Flynn

Certified Health Coach, Co-pilot

“Matt is my husband and I have seen his struggles with his mental health and how he works every day to strengthen it so I wanted to help raise money to support others to do the same.”

Matt says
“It’s fair to say that I wouldn’t be doing this if I wasn’t’t fully supported by my wife Michelle. This isn’t just a sacrifice of a month to drive from race to race but of a year or two in preparation and all the highs and lows that go with that. Tolerating the very early morning starts and the piles of running kit washing all over the house, waiting in the middle of nowhere for me to turn up… the list goes on. I chose to join Michelle on her health journey and I’m delighted she is so heavily involved in mine through this challenge.”

Nicky and Grant McGill

PT's and RTCU route creators

“Our day job is to encourage people to move more. So it was a natural progression to embrace route planning for Matt. Suicide is one of the last taboo subjects and we wanted to help Matt spread the word loud and proud. Firstly to encourage people to talk about suicide and secondly to increase awareness of the help CALM offer to those who may need their support.”

Matt says

“The Routemeister extraordinaire!

Nicky @ptnickymcgill is a self-proclaimed obsessive sports person with a special fondness for running, A Physical Training coach and founder of @secretrunclub

Nicky has an incredibly important role in the team; She has, along with Grant, planned every run route across the many counties of England, forming the foundations on which everything else – the interviews, activations, events, feed station and sleep – will be built. With 21 ultramarathons to design, every trail, every elevation and every rest stop will be critical. Fortunately Nicky has an expert knowledge of racing all over the UK, having years of experience of competition and building running communities.

Trust is a core part of team building. I know that I can trust Nicky because runners know runners; she will understand exactly what one day will feel like after the last and before the next. And because she shares a common ambition; to get around 1050kms of The Run The Country Ultra in one piece.”

Sarah Bayliss

Nutritionist & Stress management specialist

“I was super inspired to help Matt prepare for his epic challenge, helping him fuel well in training and out, and structure every day to help build strength to support his journey. The Covid pandemic is still having a profound effect on mental health and has tripled the rate of depression. I know CALM really needs the money more than ever to help reach out and help as many people as possible.”


Matt says

“Sarah is an exceptional Nutritional Therapist and has been helping me for a year fuel through training for this specific physical and mental challenge. Sarah takes very broad view of preparation, fuelling and recovery; not least how my body functions and how I generate resilience through enjoyment of what I am doing, in the moment. Sustaining myself with my plant-based diet has been a massive focus area and will be critical to crossing the finishing line – and beyond. Similarly, runs like this are fuelled by comradery and encouragement and Sarah delivers both by the plateful.”

Jo Bradley

Local Activation Lead. Research Storyteller for Myles Associates Ltd
“I am thrilled to be a part of the crew for this exciting project. Not only are we raising awareness for CALM, but we are helping to connect the fantastic groups and clubs that are also working hard to support good mental health, in their local communities. So, long after Matt has put away his trainers, I hope that the people we meet along the way will keep talking to one another and feel inspired to work together. After all, together we are stronger and can achieve so much.”
Matt says
“Jo is playing a fundamental role in the crew, activating organisations across every county of England and asking them to get involved. In fact, Jo is the person who had the idea that the run was all about making these critical connections across local boundaries and creating a legacy. Her ambition is that the connections made last well beyond the run itself and I am sure with her energy and enthusiasm, we will achieve that.

Hamish Church

Logistics or Transport Engagement Executive

“Just happy to help Matt make a real difference with his support for CALM.”

Matt says

“Hamish has stepped up to the challenge of driving someway across the English countryside and finding me in the middle of nowhere for food stops and ferrying me at the end of the day to the start of the next. As well as this vital role, Hamish is a kind and calming influence over the project, bringing a steady pragmatism to my chaotic approach to everything That and a brilliant fresh pair of eyes to everything we write – invaluable!”

Simon Edwards

photographer, filmmaker and artist

Simon is a creative professional with a sideways view of the world, never happier than when playing with images and telling stories.

“I’ve had my own battles with mental health over the years. I think that the work that CALM does is vital and deserves all the support it can get. I jumped at the chance to be involved in the project and support matt’s aims for the challenge. “

Matt says

“Sedders has a great eye and sees beautiful in the everyday. He has the skills to capture people in movement and a kind way of going about his craft. It’s a pleasure to have him on board and I am sure we will experience – and capture – a lot together. “

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