Friday, May 19, 2017

Run Across Illinois For Mental Health

Just wanted to check in because, as a lot of you may know, I'm currently running across the entire state of Illinois.  I wanted to explain why and let you know how you can help.

Defeat the Stigma is a project that aims to raise awareness and money for issues effecting mental illness.  They have a podcast ("Defeat the Stigma" on Itunes).  They shed light on a whole host of important issues and it is an extremely inspirational project.  You can read about it an learn more at

Julio Salazar is the founder of the Defeat the Stigma Project.  He's also an ultrarunner who decided to run across Minnesota in 2015 to bring attention to this project. (he also snores...I have learned).  Last year he ran across Wisconsin and a few other runners joined him.  This year he's running across Illinois to raise money for NAMI (The National Alliance for Mental Illnesss.  It's roughly 140 miles so the run is broken down to 35 miles a day.  I decided to join him, along with ultrarunners Erica Wagner, Kevin Chem, Cheryl Zwarkowski.  At this point we're halfway there. 

You can follow us at

There's a lot of reasons to run.  This has been one of the best.  We hold signs to dedicate miles to people that died from mental illness or suicide.  We talk to people and groups about mental illness. We've also learned about people that have taken their own life, during the run. We can see the impact first hand.  We see in the faces and eyes of people that they understand.  And we are transformed. It's a great project.  100% of the funds we raise go to NAMI.  Thank you for following g and supporting!!