Dubliner runs 30 marathons in 30 days for Movember


It was early 2018 and Seán O’Hara, 22, ended up at St. Patrick’s University Hospital in Dublin after battling depression and anxiety for over 18 months.

Fast forward three and a half years and O’Hara, now 25, finds himself in a better place and now aims to fundraise and educate mental health services to help young men in a situation similar to him. .

O’Hara is running 30 marathons in 30 days throughout November as part of the Movember fundraising campaign and aims to raise an ambitious € 25,000 for men’s health services.

The Dubliner has participated in the last four Movember campaigns since 2018 with the aim of giving back to the people who have helped him overcome his own mental health issues and has said he wants to do something “pretty crazy” this year to grab people’s attention.

He told IrishCentral he ran his very first marathon as part of Movember last year and noticed the physical challenge helped elevate his fundraising appeal far beyond the usual mustache campaign. that the men undertake during the month of November.

O’Hara, who started running during the first coronavirus lockdown, said he first had the idea of ​​running 30 marathons in 30 days in May 2021. He offered his running trainer to run 1,266 km in a month, which tried everything possible to dissuade him.

“I told him about it. He thought I was a little angry at first, but I told him I wanted to do this,” O’Hara said.

“He sat me down and explained to me everything that would be involved in something like that; everything that could go wrong and the reasons why I shouldn’t do it. At the end, he asked me. so i was still interested in doing it and i said “yes” and he said let’s go. ”

O’Hara has now completed 20 marathons and shows no signs of slowing down.

I run 30 marathons in 30 days in November to raise funds and raise awareness about men’s mental health @MovemberIreland Please watch it and share it and let’s open up these conversations that might help you or someone you love. The link to donate is https://t.co/YaX3elmprG pic.twitter.com/loWvVHnMGv

– Seán O’Hara (@ seanohara2) August 19, 2021

Speaking to IrishCentral on Friday, he said he completed his first under-four-hour marathon on November 19 after setting his personal best a day earlier.

However, he admitted to facing some physical and mental wear and tear throughout the grueling 20-day campaign, including a descent after reaching the midpoint.

“I had built the point halfway down to be a bit of a thing in my head. Then the next day I thought ‘I have to start all over’.

“It didn’t help that I had some physical issues. My ankle ached again and my hamstrings were sore, there was a big headwind in my face as I ran along the coast and in my head I just thought, ‘how am I going to get through today?’

The 25-year-old is encouraging people to join him on his journey, whether it’s a five-kilometer trip or a full marathon.

Every night before his next run, he displays a map of his route as well as some points where people can join, including a half marathon point and the last five and 10 kilometers.

He also connected his live tracker to his GPS watch so people can track his progress and reach him wherever they can.

He said there has only been one day so far that he has completed a full marathon on his own and friends and strangers have come to support him at different stages of his journey.

“They relieve my back and take my water bag and snacks and gels for a while. It was a good mix of having people there for the patches and having my own time to run on my own and s. ‘permeate what I do. ”

After getting through the crash halfway through his arduous journey, O’Hara now believes he’s on the home stretch and is trying to raise an additional € 12,000 in order to reach his goal by the end of the month.

He also aims to raise awareness about mental health, saying he believes there is still a stigma attached to men’s mental health issues.

“There weren’t any fathers, uncles, brothers, cousins ​​or friends talking about men’s mental health when I was in school. It just wasn’t a topic.

“When I was dealing with a lot of anxiety and had my first panic attacks and suffered from depression, I didn’t really know what it was because it wasn’t talked about.”

He said he didn’t have the tools to deal with what was going on in his head and added that he felt uncomfortable talking about his mental health with others.

“I felt so different and so alone with it because no one else was talking about these things.”

He said he hoped he could help normalize openness and conversations about mental health among young men.

He hopes teens and young adults will feel comfortable seeing their friends and asking if they’re okay.

“I think creating a new environment around mental health is really important and can really make all the difference.

“There will always be mental health issues out there, you will never get rid of them. It’s just about creating an environment where people are more willing to reach out and ask for help and support. . ”

Exercise has helped O’Hara overcome his own mental health issues, and he said something as simple as going for a walk can make a difference.

However, he stressed that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to mental health and said there is almost too much emphasis on exercise as a cure.

“It’s not for everyone,” he said. “People’s mental health is very individualized and personalized and very specific. What might work for one person might not work for someone else.”

Instead, he encouraged people struggling with mental health issues to find what works for them and put together a ‘toolbox’ of techniques and answers for dealing with their illness if it ‘comes up’. head “.

“It’s about having other things as well and not just trusting one thing and thinking it’s going to fix you.”

Click here to donate to the Movember campaign of O’Hara.

Source link


Comments are closed.