Running through depression: money raised for mental health
Ian Donaldson has given a new meaning to the phrase "running for your life".
The 25-year-old wanted to raise awareness of depression and the fact that running has helped him through his own dark times.
What better way than running just over 1000km from his home in Brisbane to the Sydney Opera House, over the course of 30 days?
"I'm no expert on mental health, but I've lived through some dark times," he said.
"I know running helped turn things around."
Donaldson completed his journey in bright sunshine on Saturday, having run a marathon distance of 42.195km through Sydney on the final day of his fundraising mission.
He raised his arms in triumph as he was greeted by friends, family and members of charity beyondblue, for whom he was raising funds - and admitted he was looking forward to catching up on sleep and getting a good feed.
"I've felt pretty good the last couple of days, which surprised me," he said. "It feels great, knowing that this is reaching a lot of people."
Speaking after Olympian Ian Thorpe revealed he had spent much of his life battling "crippling depression", Donaldson added: "It affects one in six people, so there are going to be a lot of high-profile people going through it. When you look at what he's achieved, it shows it doesn't have to control your life."
Beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell congratulated Donaldson for his "huge personal achievement", which comes on the last day of Mental Health Week.
She said running had helped many people with the symptoms of depression and anxiety and urged people with mental health issues to seek help.
Donaldson is continuing fundraising this month and hopes to collect $50,000 from the run. Anyone wishing to donate can visit www.runningoutoftheblue.com.
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