20-year-old Merritt man Darius Sam raised over $100,000 for the Nicola Valley Food Bank after his attempt to run 100 miles in 24 hours gained widespread attention. Sam will be attempting the feat again Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, this time to raise awareness on the topic of addiction. (Contributed)

20-year-old Merritt man Darius Sam raised over $100,000 for the Nicola Valley Food Bank after his attempt to run 100 miles in 24 hours gained widespread attention. Sam will be attempting the feat again Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, this time to raise awareness on the topic of addiction. (Contributed)

Merritt man attempts to run 100-miles in 24 hours for addiction awareness

After raising $110,000 for the food bank in his first 100-mile try, Sam is focusing on a new cause

Darius Sam, the young man from Merritt who pledged to run 100 miles in 24 hours to raise money for his local food bank, will be throwing on his running shoes and hitting the road yet again.

Sam raised over $110,000 for the Nicola Valley Food Bank in June after his mission caught widespread media and public attention.

“My original goal last time was only $1,000, so to jump to $110,000 was pretty surreal,” he said. “It made a huge impact down at the food bank, I couldn’t be happier with what it did for the people.”

However, this time the 20-year-old Merritt man will be running for a different cause.

READ MORE: 100 miles in 24 hours: a B.C. man’s mission to support the less fortunate

Sam won’t be raising money this time around but rather awareness. The 20-year-old is dubbing this run as “the Run Against Addiction” — a cause that hits close to home for him.

“I grew up in an adopted home because of addiction, I’ve lost a few family members to addiction, I’ve lost friendships… and I’m sure a lot of people can relate,” he said. “Every person I know at least knows one person that’s in addiction and it affects them in some way.”

Sam hopes to shed light on the many different forms of addiction that can take over a life, rather than simply focus on drug and alcohol addiction.

“Whether it’s food, alcohol, pornography, social media or a handful of other things used to escape reality, addiction is everywhere and has taken over so many lives,” he said.

“A huge one I want to address is excess time on social media. A lot of young people don’t realize that’s an addiction and it can be very destructive.”

Sam hopes his run will help change the narrative and stigmas surrounding addiction.

“A lot of very beautiful souls and very beautiful people have been lost in addiction and I’d like for people to realize that people just like you and me can get caught in the wrong place.”

READ MORE: Pandemic aggravates opioid crisis as overdoses rise and services fall out of reach

Sam is determined to reach the 100-mile mark in 24 hours after his previous run in June was cut short at the 89-mile mark.

“I ran into some complications last time where I don’t think I trained as hard I could have, ultimately I didn’t end up finishing the full 100,” Sam said. “I knew I had to come back and face it.”

Sam admitted that running 100 miles in 24 hours was a bigger challenge than he had anticipated. The mental and physical anguish was ultimately more than he was prepared for.

“It gets to a point where it’s so easy to pack it in, it’s such a mental battle with yourself because you’re hurt, doing this hurts. Your whole body is just shocked really.

“I think the hardest part is just keeping one foot going after the other.”

Sam ended up running for 29 hours in his last attempt. After a trip to the hospital, his mother convinced him to shut it down.

This time, however, Sam feels more prepared — physically and mentally.

“I went into it (last attempt) pretty ignorant to everything… I didn’t know much about nutrition and how to fuel my body when approaching something like that,” Sam said. “I’ve learned a lot in the last few months and there were a lot of flaws in my game plan going into the last one.”

Sam has been training for this run for over two months, putting in “serious weeks” where he runs a minimum of 40 up to 100 miles (160 kilometres) per week.

Sam thinks his new training regimen along with a stronger dedication to nutrition and allowing his body recovery time will ultimately make the difference in his second attempt at 100 miles in 24 hours.

Sam had little running experience prior to his first attempt. Despite vigorous training leading up to the run, his goal still seemed ambitious for a relatively new runner.

Other than the mental battle that occurs when attempting to run 100 miles in 24 hours, Sam anticipates that weather might be his biggest challenge this time around.

He plans to start the run on Dec. 5, snow and cold temperatures may be inevitable. “I don’t know what mother nature has in store for me but it’s happening Dec. 5 regardless of anything that’s going on.”



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

addictionsrunning

Just Posted

Nurse Doreen Littlejohn takes a longterm approach in her outreach work with homelessness in Parksville Qualicum Beach, but says more needs to be done now. (Auren Ruvinsky photo)
‘Women face a much different experience on the street’

Vancouver Island nurse says community needs to be part of solution to homelessness

The Sepura is a garbage disposal system that separates solids from liquids and allows for stink and hassle-free composting. (Courtesy of Anvy Technologies)
Goodbye garburator, this Victoria company has a clean composting solution

Sepura has made Time Magazine’s ‘100 Best Inventions of 2020’ for its hassle-free functioning

Christmas lights are something that people can do to celebrate the season that are not impacted by COVID-19. (file photo)
Editorial: Give your loved ones some kindness and some space this year

Holiday season will be different this year and we’ll have to adjust our Christmas plans this year.

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

The property at 113 and 161 Island Highway is currently being dismantled as the developer attempts to salvage ‘usable’ lumber for their development application to the City of Parksville. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Development application delayed for high-profile Parksville property

Council refers application to staff for further improvements

Work is underway to bring a Nordic-themed Christmas display to Uptown Shopping Centre. (Black Press Media file photo)
Outdoor skating rink, road mural among holiday festivities at Saanich mall

Santa dons a clear mask for photos at Uptown this winter

Peninsula Panthers' owner and general manager Pete Zubersky questions the decision-making process leading to the suspension of play in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL). (Black Press Media File)
Peninsula Panthers’ owner questions process behind suspension of Junior B hockey action

Pete Zubersky does not understand actions of provincial body administering amateur sports

Dover Bay Secondary School student Victoria Hathfield’s poem <em>Dear Santa</em> appears in<em> Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas is in the Air</em>. (Photo courtesy Darren Lee)
Nanaimo high schooler has first poem published in ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’

Victoria Hathfield’s ‘Dear Santa’ appears in new Christmas-themed edition of anthology series

Qualicum Beach resident Harold MacDougall won $75,000 off a Casino Royale II Scratch & Win ticket, purchased the ticket at Qualicum Foods on Memorial Avenue. (BCLC photo)
Qualicum Beach man $75K richer thanks to scratch-and-win ticket windfall

Winner plans on trips to Cape Breton and Scotland

A spokesperson for the Peninsula Country Market is upset that their third and final Winter Market won’t happen this Saturday in Central Saanich’s Centennial Park following moves by the municipality. (Facebook/Peninsula Country Market)
Central Saanich postpones weekend Winter Market, organizers upset

Lorea Tomsin said municipality’s move runs counter to provincial direction

Brenda’s Brats have cancelled their Christmas variety shows due to COVID-19, but they are hoping you will still donate to the CMS Food Bank. (Submitted)
Cancellations dot the Cowichan event calendar

Christmas train and Run For The Claus among the events that won’t happen

Most Read