A fundraiser for the mental health charity I Am Hope saw a group of friends and family, supported from the sidelines, run a socially distanced 51km in a single rainy day through the streets of the Hibiscus Coast. Michael Goudie says it came about because of a defining moment in their family, last year.
“We had to rally together, play our parts and implement a strategy to support a loved one who was not themselves,” he says. “So many people out there struggling to grapple with the complexity and pressures of life might not have the same tools or support system we have. It makes me sick, thinking about how isolated anyone can become, right under our noses. I am Hope fills the gap for someone who is not themselves, lacks the willingness to change and individuals to pull them out of a hole.”
In recognition of that journey, Michael’s brother Max came up with the idea of helping I am Hope’s Gumboot Friday raise some money. Their ‘Seeking Highs and Lows’ fundraiser committed to running 1km for every $50 raised. When 48 people donated $2550 in just two days, it meant they had to jog out 51km. The route included parts of Red Beach, Silverdale, Milldale, Millwater and Ōrewa.
“We set off in the pouring rain at 6am on Saturday, November 13 from Ōrewa Skate park – it was still raining when we crossed the finish line at midday. To undertake 51km in one outing was excruciating and would not have been possible without some strategy, a plan, support, execution, and accountability – many of the same principles needed when dealing with mental health,” Michael says.
He suspects the event is here to stay.