Samaritans wants to motivate more people to get active to improve their mental wellbeing, rather than focus on a physical endurance challenge that requires participants to run 26.2 miles in one stretch. That is why ‘Samarathon’ invites the nation to go at their own pace, take part with friends and family this summer and raise money to help us be there for those struggling to cope.
Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland said: “We all know that keeping physically fit has a positive impact on someone’s mental wellbeing. Living in a world where people can feel a lot of pressure to look good, we thought it was important to roll out a fitness-fundraising initiative that focused on feeling good. We hope supporters will encourage their friends and family of all ages to take part so it can be an achievable challenge they share and enjoy together.”
Registration opened just days before the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, which is focused on the theme of ‘body image’.
Worthing Samaritans volunteer who has a love of running, Lyndsey Power, will be signing up to Samarathon. She said: “I’ve been running about 11 years; I ran through my divorce, it really helped me feel strong when I was at my lowest. I am not the best runner in the world and was never sporty at school but it’s good to exercise and it gets me outside in the fresh air. It clears your head and gives me thinking space. I met my best friend through running, we do races together.
“Samarathon is going to be a fun challenge for me. It’s flexible and you can wrap the challenge around your life. I work full time and have a toddler so I have to make the most of my free time. This will challenge me and I’ll feel proud when I’ve achieved it.”