Running for health
The holidays are over, and its back to the work-a-day treadmill for most.
However, a Palmerston North woman is volunteering to spend 24 hours on a treadmill to highlight the issue of mental health.
Stephanie Gilchrist is training to climb Mt Kilimanjaro in September to raise awareness and funds for the Mental Health Foundation.
But before she does she will tackle another hurdle. Next month she will spend 24 hours pounding a gym treadmill.
In preparation to take on the African mountain, Gilchrist said she wanted to do monthly challenges.
She was inspired by longdistance Kiwi trail runner and Mental Health Foundation fundraiser Malcolm Law, who in 2015 aged 54, ran 50 marathons in 50 days.
The idea to spend 24 hours on a treadmill just popped into her head one day, she said.
‘‘I had wanted to do something like this for a while.’’
Gilchrist said she had battled mental health problems herself, so was excited to be able to support the foundation.
‘‘It is something I have struggled with since I was 15-years-old, so it is quite personal to me.’’
However, she is relatively new to running, having only become serious about it four years ago.
‘‘I never thought I’d be a runner,’’ she said.
After her first half marathon she swore she would never do another one, however quickly caught the running bug.
Since then she has run 20 halfmarathons, two full marathons and two ultra-marathons.
Her 24-hour treadmill walk will be held at Zenith Fitness on February 11 from midday.
Gilchrist expected she would spend the majority of the time walking.
‘‘Maybe I’ll have a jog, I’ll see how I go.’’
She began fundraising in August, having set herself a target of $4000, and was grateful for the support that had seen $3200 raised so far.
‘‘It has been really fun. It is not just that it is for a good cause, but it is bringing people together.’’
For those interested in walking a section with her, there will be other treadmills available.
Gilchrest’s Kilimanjaro trek will take over seven days. She will join a team of adventurers to climb 5895 metres in an attempt to reach the summit.
Stephanie Gilchrist will run 24 hours on a treadmill to raise awareness and funds for mental health.