Runners race to raise money for suicide prevention group
More than a 100 people gathered on Sandy Beach on Saturday for the Every Mile is Worth It Race. This was the third year for the 5k hosted by the South East Alaska Regional Health Consortium.
Megan Gregory is the community project coordinator with SEARHC. Gregory’s main job is working on suicide prevention projects. She says she likes planning events that focus on healthy living:
“I’m thinking it’s more important to focus on the good in life rather than pointing out the bad which is why I coordinate events like Every Mile is Worth It. Specifically at Sandy Beach on this course, because it reminds me of life. The course isn’t always easy, there’s going to be a lot of challenges along the way but there’s no better feeling than crossing the finish line.”
The 5k is a fundraiser for the Southeast Alaska Youth Ambassador Program which was founded by Gregory in 2010 who was volunteering with the One is Too Many task force. Funds raised by the race entry fee pay for travel for youth from southeast communities to participate in meetings.
“It’s taken a while to get it off the ground and get kids engaged because when they hear suicide, you know with the stigma attached they automatically don’t want to be involved or they think ‘oh, that’s not a problem in my community,’ but we don’t want to wait for it to become an issue.”
The 5k race included both runners and walkers. Each racer had a red or black bib. Participants started the course in different directions depending on the color of their bib. The goal was that nobody knew for sure whether they were ahead or behind of someone else. Gregory says the race wasn’t about who won or lost, but just getting out there and doing it.