Credit: Thomas Nugent via Geograph under Creative Commons License 2.0

Backyard Ultra Marathon raises over £9,000 for Mindstep

By Matilda Handley

Around £9,800 was raised for research into the causes of suicide. 

Content/trigger warning: suicide

James Smith, Will Smith, and Rudi Lewis completed a Backyard Ultra Marathon of 100 miles in 24 hours, raising money for the Mindstep foundation.

James and Rudi ran 4.2 miles every hour on the hour, whilst Will completed the same distance on a rowing machine.

The Marathon has raised over £4,900 so far, which has been matched by Convey Law, bringing the total to £9,800. This money will go towards the University of Glasgow for a PhD in suicide research on behalf of Mindstep.

Mindstep is a charity that helps to fund mental health research, awareness, and support. This awareness includes the warning signs of mental health issues, and the consequences of conditions being untreated. Mindstep helps to fund the University of Glasgow research and work on suicide within the Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory.

In a week, over 80 men take their own lives, and over 400 take their lives annually. The Mindstep foundation seeks to break the stigma around mental health issues, and how to deal with them – alongside funding research on the causes of suicide.

James told the Abergavenny Chronicle: “The challenge started well with many people turning up throughout the day to run laps and show support… We battled on throughout the night with more incredible people coming out to run with us in the dark and wet.” He added: “We were overwhelmed by the support shown for us, but more importantly, people were there to support the charity. On each lap, we discussed mental health with different people who were instantly engaged with the issues surrounding mental health and depression, as everyone is affected or knows someone who has been affected in some way… We are so grateful for those who supported us on the day and to those who have donated to the cause.”

The Mindstep foundation said they are “incredibly grateful to Rudi, James, and Will for undertaking this impressive challenge in aid of our charity. We were overwhelmed by the effort and determination demonstrated by the team, as they battled rain and exhaustion before completing the challenge in the early hours of the morning. With huge thanks to the team and all those who kindly donated in support, we have raised a total of £10,000. These funds will contribute to postdoctoral research into the causes of suicide, supervised by Professor Rory O’Connor at the Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory at the University of Glasgow.” 

For more information on Mindstep you can visit their website, and the marathon can still be sponsored here.

If you struggle with mental health issues or would like to speak to someone, please contact Glasgow Samaritans for free on 116 123 or get in touch with the University’s Counselling and Psychological Services on 0141 330 4528. In an emergency always dial 999.


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