Amanda prepares to run 1200km for mental health
AMANDA Allen is ready to empower rural Queenslanders one step at a time as she embarks on 1200km run this Sunday.
It will take her from Toowoomba's Picnic Point to Mackay.
The 44-year-old South Australian is lacing up her boots to raise funds for not-for-profit group Run for MI Queensland and to shed light on the mental health issues that plague rural Queensland.
It is a cause and issue close to Ms Allen's heart with the two-time CrossFit Games Women's Masters Champion openly admitting to a long battle with depression.
"I know what it's like to be so deep in that hole that you can't see the light and you feel like there is no way out," she said.
"But I also know what it's like to come out the other side. We all have the power inside us to improve our lives.
"We have to turn up every day and fight; miracles can happen if we fight. IThat is why I'm doing this run. It is my chance to give something back, to inspire and empower others."
Ms Allen plans to run 30km every day (barring the occasional rest day) with her quest finishing in Mackay on July 2.
She deliberately planned her run to encompass rural Queensland after a recent Griffith University study showed the highest age-standardised suicide rate was found in western Queensland.
"I really want to take a positive message to the people who need it the most," Ms Allen said.
"I think our increasingly sedentary lifestyles are contributing to the rising rate of mental health issues. I hope to show people that if we take control of our physical health we can boost our mental health."
The run will include stops in Dalby, Emerald and Moranbah where local mental health professionals will help her engage in positive discussions with the local communities and Ms Allen will visit local CrossFit boxes.
Ms Allen's first visit will be to Toowoomba's CrossFit Confront in an effort to loosen up her muscles after her four-day drive from Adelaide.
"I love meeting the smaller CrossFit communities; they are always so positive and generous. CrossFit helped me immensely in my battle with depression.
The stopovers are also opportunities for members of the community to register for "mini runs'' with Ms Allen as a form of support.