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Support Isle of Man Samaritans by getting active this summer

Thursday 17 June in Community

Isle of Man Samaritans is inviting supporters to sign up to Samarathon, the charity’s annual virtual marathon.

Funds raised will help the charity continue to be there for people struggling to cope.

Samarathon challenges participants to walk, jog or run the equivalent of a marathon distance during the month of July while raising money and awareness of Samaritans, helping the charity’s volunteers continue to provide vital emotional support 24 hours a day, 365 years a year.

Volunteers at the Isle of Man branch are encouraging Island residents to make the most of the long summer days following months of lockdown, by getting active and being out in nature, which is known to help boost physical and mental wellbeing.

Participants can choose how, when and where they complete their marathon – and can sign up alongside friends and family, cheering each other on either in person or remotely.

Gary Leeming, Branch Director at Isle of Man Samaritans, said: ‘Samarathon provides a great opportunity to get active and enjoy spending time outdoors, which is more important than ever after such a testing year. It is also a real boost to our volunteers, who have clocked up several thousand hours providing emotional support to those who are struggling to cope during these challenging times.

‘The pandemic has significantly hampered our ability to fundraise over the past 12 months. Taking part in this challenge is not only a fun way to look after your own mental health and wellbeing, but, through the funds raised, will also allow us to support others who are struggling with theirs.’

Laura, 43, signed up to Samarathon last year in memory of her sister Louise. She explained: ‘Samarathon was so amazing, it gave me something to focus on after coming out of lockdown. I never liked running before, I found it too hard and arduous, but by taking it slow and doing small amounts every other day, the mental health side of it almost took over from the fitness side. That was a big motivation because I felt great after it, I love it.”

Leonie, a listening volunteer for the past nine years, walked three marathons during Samarathon 2020. She said: ‘With the pandemic, I was very conscious of looking after my mental health and I thought Samarathon would be a good way to physically challenge myself, as well as being a motivator to regularly get myself outside.

‘I did three marathon distances over the month, and I’m hoping to do more this year. Samarathon gave me more of a purpose. Being out in nature helps puts things in perspective. I really enjoy getting out in the fresh air, feeling freer and not restricted by your own thoughts or responsibilities.’

To find more information or sign up to Samarathon, visit www.samaritans.org/samarathon.

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