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By Kristie Boland
Rutter, 24, will be lining up in the ASB Christchurch Marathon on Sunday with more than 4000 other participants.
This year’s marathon marks a return of the event, which was cancelled last year due to Covid-19.
Rutter said he wanted to make something positive come out of his father’s suspected suicide, so was running to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation.
He has so far raised more than $2000. He has used running as a way to cope after his father died last July.
Rutter is training hard for his first race.
“Running allowed me to tap into [my] emotions,” he said.
When he struggles with a run, too, he remembers the support he has received from donors, which keeps him going.
“If I’m running and struggling with a certain distance, it’s like these people are behind you.”
Once runners raise more than $200 they receive a t-shirt from the foundation.
Scarlett has already been raising awareness for mental health with her project ‘Kim’s Rocks’, in which she leaves rocks on tracks around Christchurch and places of significance as a tribute to her friend.
The rocks have positive messages and the Lifeline number on them.
Scarlett intends to place a rock at the start line during the half marathon and another two at Hagley Park. She has connected with others through Facebook in the United Kingdom and United States who are also placing rocks in memory of those they have lost to suicide.
“They’ve sent rocks to me and I’ve sent rocks to them. I’ve placed their rocks and they’ve placed mine.”
Foundation spokesman Mark Wilson said Rutter and Scarlett epitomised the values of the foundation’s fundraisers.
“They’re committed to the cause by setting personal goals and are driven to make positive change as part of their response to a tragic life experience.”
To donate to the runners visit https://events.mentalhealth.org.nz/event/christchurch-marathon-2021