I will be running the 100 mile Pong Yaeng Trail Race in Thailand and raise money more Samaritans, an organization that works to prevent suicide and support those who have lost someone to suicide.
Mental health seems to be a topic of lesser concern throughout the world, but the reality of it is that people are dealing with internal thoughts and emotions which are difficult to handle alone. You truly never know what somebody is going through and too much of this built-up negativity in the mind can lead to fatal actions. Personally, this led to my father, Noland, struggling and taking his own life about 13 years ago, as well as one of my best friends’ father, Scott Mayo, in March 2019.
To keep their spirits alive and honor the ones we’ve lost, as well as raise awareness for mental health recognition, I will run in the 100 mile (166 km) Pong Yaeng Trail (PYT) race in the Pong Yaeng sub-district, Chiang Mai, Thailand on November 6 2020. The trail will run through local villages, vast rice fields, and up and over mountainous terrain, with a total elevation gain of 24,000 feet (7,400 m). The race has set a cut-off time for 48 hours, but my goal is to finish in 30 hours.
In addition, I would like to raise money for Samaritans, a Boston based organization that works to prevent suicide and support those who have lost someone to suicide. Samaritans, is dedicated to “educating the public on preventative and protective measures, provide support to those in despair or crisis, and offer comfort and resources to individuals and families experiencing the complex grief that follows a loss to suicide.” All of the donations will go towards suicide prevention efforts and the friends and families who lost someone they will never be able to see again.
I believe that if you never overcome obstacles or difficulties in your life, you will not know how your mind can adapt to get through them. I purposely want to exercise my body’s ability to manage intense situations so the stresses of regular life will lessen. Along with talking with someone, this has been a way for me to lessen the impact of my negative thoughts and emotions and cope with the constant changes that life brings. My participation in the PYT is for everyone who can be comforted by knowing they’ the people who are afraid to speak out and talk to someone, and a thank you to those who recognize mental health as an important issue and are there for those who need it. If even one person is helped through this, it could be a catalyst for exponential change throughout the lives of people close to you.
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