In January 2019 my dear friend Travis McLeod took his own life. It was just 3 weeks after my happiest day when he was a groomsman at my wedding. While there had been times in his life where he had reached out to me, and other friends, none of us had any idea of the struggle he must have been facing inside his own mind. So 200 Miles For Travis is a project where I want to try and help those dealing with depression as well as the family a friends left behind when the worst does happen.
Travis was always the life of the party and I have so many fantastic memories with him. We travelled together and he always had time for any of his friends and family. When Charlie and I announced our engagement, even though he was living in Brisbane and we in Adelaide, he was one of the first to congratulate us. Making the effort to reschedule and miss work commitments to be at our engagement party. We truly miss him. I keep expecting his huge and infectious smile to appear.
I have been running ultra marathons for quite a few years now and on many occasions people have asked “what are you raising money for?” However I have always run these events for my own personal reasons rather than external influences such as charity. When a 200 Mile (325 Kilometre) event was announced for 2020 in my home state of South Australia it seemed the time was right for me to get out of my own comfort zone and do something in memory if Travis. Having run quite a few 100km events I was planning on tackling the big 100 Mile distance in 2020. So 200 Miles is WAY outside my comfort zone. It will be hard. I will suffer both mentally and physically. But if I can help just one person with depression, or give relief to a parent devastated at the loss of their child it will all be worth it.