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

The District of Stewart has adopted a strategic plan for 2020/21 with six focus areas. (District of Stewart/Facebook)
Stewart adopts 2020 strategic plan

Economy, community areas of focus

Kendra Willems, seen here Nov. 5, created a Facebook page to help facilitate social supports such as clothing donations in an informal manner that supplements existing supports and charities. (Jake Wray/Terrace Standard)
Skeena Voices | ‘We could all use that kind of goodness’

Kendra Willems, new to Terrace, founds charitable Facebook page

Firefighters work to cool a semi truck engine that caught fire at the corner of Eby St. and Hwy 16 around 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 26
Semi truck engine catches fire in Terrace

Hwy 16 briefly closed between Sande Overpass and Eby St.

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross at his swearing in on Thursday (Nov. 26), with his wife, Tracey, left, mother, Frieda, and grandson, Parker. (Ellis Ross photo)
Ellis Ross sworn in as Skeena MLA

Ceremonies happening virtually rather than all in-person in Victoria

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

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 B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

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

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

More than 60 cm of snow has fallen at Ulkatcho First Nation near Anahim Lake in the Chilcotin since a snowfall warning went into effect Thursday, Nov. 26. (Graham West photo)
VIDEO: More than 60 cm of snowfall in Chilcotin since Thursday, Nov. 26

Graham West of Ulkatcho First Nation captures the scene on video

Most Read