The Samaritans Newry and Dundalk branch have launched their summer challenge, the 26.2 mile ‘Samarathon’ taking place throughout July.
Samaritans of Newry and Dundalk are encouraging people to sign up for the event and set themselves the challenge of walking, jogging or running the equivalent of a marathon distance during July, helping the charity’s volunteers continue to provide vital emotional support.
Take part by running, jogging or walking 26.2miles over the next few weeks.
Volunteers at the branch are encouraging people from across Dundalk, South Armagh and North Louth to make the most of the long summer days by getting active and outdoors, which has the added bonus of helping to boost physical and mental wellbeing.
Participants can choose how, when and where they complete their marathon – and can sign up to complete the challenge solo or join a team to complete it alongside their colleagues, friends and family.
Branch Director, Oonagh Brown, said: “We all know that times are tough right now for lots of people. Taking part in Samarathon is not only a fun way to help look after your own mental health and wellbeing but will help ensure Samaritans volunteers are there to support others in need of our help."
Michelle, 41, and her son signed up to take part in Samarathon this year after taking part in 2021: “My son wanted to raise money for Samaritans in memory of his dad. Sadly, he took his own life and our son wants to do as much as he can to make sure he is helping people that might be finding life tough."
She added: “It worked so well because its so flexible. I’m a single mum, work full-time and it was really good to have that extra time with my son at the end of the day, chatting about what we’ve been up to whilst clocking the miles for this amazing cause. We’ll probably be walking it. There’s no downside to taking part.”
Stephen, a listening volunteer for Newry & Dundalk branch is running a marathon in July for Samarathon: “I’m not a natural runner so doing the marathon in small chunks is perfect for me. I know there are a huge number of personal benefits to running and on top of them, I get to raise vital funds for our local branch.”
To help support your local branch of Samaritans, sign up at https://samarathon.enthuse.com and click 'Fundraise for us' and then select 'Samaritans of Newry' as the branch you want to support.
Oonagh appealed for local people to consider taking part. “Your support means everything to us - not only will you help vital funds, but you will also spread the message that Samaritans are there 24/7 for people who need somebody to talk to."
To find more information,, visit www.samaritans.org/samarathon