Vernon’s Zach Anderson, who now resides in Perth, Australia, has raised awareness and more than $6,400 for the #SickNotWeak charity in regards to depression in honour of friend Justin Mitchell’s late father, Glenn, the former managing editor of the Morning Star. Anderson finished an event in Perth called 4 x 4 x 48, which meant running four miles every four hours for 48 hours. (Zach Anderson photo)

Okanagan runner completes grueling Aussie event in honour of friend’s father

Zach Anderson of Vernon raised funds and depression awareness in memory of former newspaper editor

  • Mar. 8, 2021 12:00 a.m.

While he was running and questioning himself, ‘what in the world did I sign up for?’ Zach Anderson would shake that negative thought out of his head.

Then Anderson would think of his longtime buddy Justin Mitchell and his late father, former Morning Star managing editor Glenn Mitchell, and he’d think of his family in Vernon and friends supporting him in the late Australian summer. It would spur him on to run more.

Anderson completed an event in Perth, where he is now living and working, called the 4 x 4 x 48, running four miles every four hours for 48 hours.

As he wrote on his Facebook page, Anderson finished 77 kilometres – you can take the boy out of Canada but not Canada out of the boy – which is 48 miles, and did it in the required 48 hours. He averaged 6.4 kms (four miles) every four hours.

“You guys all truly gave me extra energy to complete this challenge,” said Anderson. “I legitimately wasn’t sure I could complete this, but it has just reinforced my deep belief of how important it is to step into the unknown, whether it be physically pushing what you thought possible or mentally by opening up and being vulnerable.”

It was a conversation Anderson had with Justin, or Jup as he calls his lifelong friend, about Justin’s father, who lost a battle with depression on Dec. 17, 2020, at the age of 60. The pair shared their powerful, nearly 30-minute video talk on social media. That, in turn, was shared by family and friends.

Anderson chose the charity #SickNotWeak to raise money for during his run because he believes it is important to bring awareness to the fact depression is an illness and not a sign someone is weak or simply ungrateful for what they have in life.

His original goal was to raise $3,000 through a GoFundMe campaign. After that target was met rather quickly, he upped the goal to $7,000. As of Sunday afternoon, March 7, Anderson had raised $6,405. The fundraiser ends this Friday, March 12.

“I just wanted to jump on here real quick to update you all and thank you all for the support through sharing Justin Mitchell and I’s video, donating to #sicknotweak @sicknotweak, your awesome words of encouragement, and finally, thanks to those who messaged us with how much the video and challenge touched or inspired them,” said Anderson.

“Huge thanks to Jup as if it weren’t for his vulnerability, none of this would have happened.

READ MORE: Vernon man laces up for mental health challenge in honour of Glenn Mitchell

@VernonNewsroger@vernonmorningstar.comLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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