By Justin Schellenberg, October 16 2017 —
The University of Calgary was host to the fifth-annual Outrun The Stigma (OTS) walk and run on Saturday, Oct. 14. OTS is a non-profit organization that aims to bring awareness to and confront stigma surrounding mental illness.
OTS Calgary chapter co-chair Tina Guo said the event had over 200 participants in the 5K and 10K walk and run.
“We’ve broken a lot of the records that we wanted to break,” said Guo. “We’ve raised over $32,000, which is by far the most that we’ve raised in any given year.”
The Calgary chapter of OTS raises money to support the Calgary Distress Centre, a free 24-hour crisis intervention service.
The run and walk were followed by a mental health expo on the quad outside the Taylor Family Digital Library, which involved groups such as the Women’s Resource Centre, Calgary Pride and the Students Against Domestic Abuse Association.
Students’ Union president Branden Cave took part in the 10K run. SU vice-president academic Tina Miller, SU arts representative Sumaira Islam and Faculty of Arts dean Richard Sigurdson also participated.
“This is my third year now doing it and it’s alway been a fantastic experience,” Cave said. “We raised a little bit of money within the Students’ Union. As much as we can to help.”
The winners of the 10K run were Hunter Brett, Nash Hayward and Lucas Tiberio, three U of C alumni who crossed the finish line as a team. All three said they participated to help fight against the stigma surrounding mental health after being affected by it in various ways. The team added they were successful in their fundraising efforts, raising over 300 per cent of their initial goal.
“We all want to bring awareness to [mental health stigma]. We all know someone affected by it.” Tiberio said. “A big part of finishing together is it brings awareness that you can’t do this alone, and we have to do it together to end it.”