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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

GIF
’90s rock band resurfaces with songs never properly recorded or released

Underwater Sunshine’s online reunion involves four guys who lost contact for years

Tim Siebert, one half of the partnership behind Citrus & Cane, says opening the Douglas Street cocktail lounge during a pandemic had challenges, but the bar is ready to adapt to whatever comes next. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
New Victoria tropical cocktail lounge designed with COVID-19 safety in mind

Citrus & Cane opens in site of former Copper Owl after eight-month delay

Kennedy Nikel, applied marine biologist at Cascadia Seaweed, here seen in late September, shows off bull kelp (in her left hand) and rock weed. The company is spear-heading an annual seaweed festival scheduled for May 13-21, 2021, with Sidney council have signed off in principle. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Cascadia hopes to see Sidney host seaweed festival in May 2021

Council supports the idea in principle following a presentation by Cascadia Seaweed

Trevor Davis, base manager of the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation in Sidney, stands in front of the Hecate Sentinal, an oil skimming vessel based at Sidney’s Van Isle Marina. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Oil spill response base taking shape on Saanich Peninsula

Enhanced base with elements in North Saanich and Sidney to be fully operational in fall 2022

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

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

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

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

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 in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

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

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read