Finishing first was not the purpose of Humber’s five-kilometre run at Lakeshore campus Thursday afternoon.
Humber Lakeshore campus hosted its second annual Run for Mental Health Awareness.
Nathania Bron and Kavelle Deonanan are the creators of the event along with Humber Students’ Federation and the Mental Health and Wellness students volunteering for the day.
“The purpose is to experience the community we have and that Humber can help students, faculty and staff with mental health awareness,” said Bron, the recreation and fitness coordinator at Lakeshore campus.
The event was open to everyone, not just Humber students. Once registered, runners received a free t-shirt and number id to pin on.
“We’re using athletics and physical fitness in dealing with stress, anxiety and such things,” Bron said.
On a countdown from five, the whistle blew marking the start of the five-kilometre course at noon, with runners active up to 3:30 p.m.
The course took runners through a lap around the Lakeshore cottages, followed by an uphill run alongside the waterfront and then to the peak overseeing the city and CN Tower.
“[Participants] don’t all have to run, you can just walk and enjoy the scenery,” said Kavelle Deonanan, event coordinator at Lakeshore campus.
Deonanan said the event is not focused on finishing first but to get people to comfortably talk about mental health awareness.
“I think it’s a really good idea to bring awareness to mental health. It’s something everybody should be talking about,” said Nathan Lacroyx, a Lakeshore student and second-time runner.
Lacroyx ran along side his close friend Sarah Thibeau, first time participant.
“I suffer from anxiety so I’m supporting the cause and I think it’s something everyone should too,” said Thibeau.
The five-kilometre event had a strong turnout with 115 pre-registered participants, plus those that registered on the spot. Students, facility, coaches, alumni and even dogs united as one, in matching white t-shirts to promote the run.
“This is absolutely a cause I would love to be a part of, and I thought what better way than to run for it,” said Omer Imran, a Humber graduate and cross-country alumnus.
Imran is an international student from Dubai and says through his years of Humber, events like this always bring the community closer.
The event took months of planning and organizing among many different sponsors and staff members. Bron and Deonanan both say that although the event took a lot of work, it was worth it in the end.
“I feel like really getting a sense of community will benefit our students and grow awareness with each other and around mental illnesses,” said Bron.