Running the height of Mt Everest

Runner Ashim GC will take part in the 24-hour Crush the Cargill this weekend to raise money for...
Runner Ashim GC will take part in the 24-hour Crush the Cargill this weekend to raise money for causes important to him. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
After experiencing the benefits running has on mental health, a Dunedin man is planning on doing it for 24 hours.

Ashim GC (27) will line up alongside other keen endurance runners this weekend for the annual Crush the Cargill challenge.

The event goes from 10am on Saturday until 10am on Sunday.

"This is the biggest endurance [run] I have ever done so I’m a bit nervous, but I’m looking forward to it," Ashim said.

He set himself a goal to run the height of Mt Everest (8849m) during the event

"That’s the challenge I’ll work towards, but I’ll just listen to my body and do as much as I can."

He is raising money for the Mental Health Foundation, vaccinations for poor countries through Gavi and The Valley Project.

Ashim moved to New Zealand from Nepal about three years ago, and was grateful for the support he had during the Covid-19 lockdowns and subsequent restrictions.

However, many of his friends and family in Asia had a tougher time.

He wanted to make sure that everyone, no matter where they lived, had access to vaccinations.

"Vaccinations are totally your choice but that choice should be there," Ashim said.

"We know that if vaccines were to be a solution, we know that we won’t be able to solve the problem until everyone gets it.

"I want to acknowledge the privilege I’ve had during Covid and support the people who have not necessarily had that."

Despite having access to support in New Zealand, dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic was not

always easy.

Ashim lost his job during last year’s lockdown and turned to running as a coping mechanism.

"For me, running has really helped."

Although he was not much of a runner until then, he put more energy into it in a bid to keep the negativity out.

Mental health issues were still a problem and the Mental Health Foundation did amazing work to help with that, he said.

He felt lucky he was able to focus on his health, sports and running as not everyone had the opportunity to do so.

"People should talk and be more open about mental health things."

He also wanted to give money to The Valley Project to support the community he lived in and the work it did in the city.

Dunedin had an amazing community of runners and great outdoor experiences, he said.

"I’m really looking forward to being part of that community."


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