Samaritans Dennis and Clare are encouraging people to sign up to Samarathon and set themselves the challenge of walking, jogging or running the equivalent of a marathon distance (26.2 miles) during July, helping the charity’s volunteers continue to provide vital emotional support.
Listening volunteers at the Ennis branch are encouraging County Clare residents to make the most of the long summer days after months of lockdown by getting active and being out in nature, which is known to help boost physical and mental wellbeing.
Participants can choose how, when and where they complete their marathon – and can sign up alongside friends and family as a team, cheering each other on either in person or remotely.
During registration you can opt to raise funds for your local branch in a drop down menu, and although funds appear to be collected in £ (sterling), all funds will Margaret MacMahon Branch Director at Samaritans Ennis and Clare, said: “Samarathon provides a great opportunity to get active and enjoy spending time outdoors which is more important than ever during the pandemic. It is also a real boost to our volunteers, who have clocked up so many hours providing emotional support to those who are struggling to cope during these challenging times.
“The pandemic has significantly hampered our ability to fundraise over the past 12 months. Taking part in this challenge is not only a fun way to look after your own mental health and wellbeing but will allow us to support others who are struggling with theirs.”
Laura, 43, signed up to Samarathon last year in memory of her sister Louise: “Samarathon was so amazing, it gave me something to focus on after coming out of lockdown.
“I never liked running before, I found it too hard and arduous, but by taking it slowly and doing small amounts every other day, the mental health side of it almost took over from the fitness side. That was a big motivation because I felt great after it, I love it.”
Ann, a listening volunteer for the past three years walked four and a half marathons during Samarathon 2020: “With the pandemic, I was very conscious of looking after my mental health so I thought it would be good to physically challenge myself, as well as being a good motivator to regularly get myself outside.Samarathon gave me more of a purpose. Being out in nature helps puts things in perspective. I really enjoy getting out in the fresh air, feeling freer and not restricted by my own thoughts or responsibilities.”
To find more information or sign up to Samarathon, visit www.samaritans.org/samarathon