Former Waterloo runner Jacob Morris to run 10 half-marathons in 30 days

Jacob Morris is planning to run 10 half-marathons in 10 Canadian cities in the hope that it will inspire people with anxiety and depression.

Runner Jacob Morris hopes to inspire people with mental health issues

Jacob Morris, a former Waterloo resident, is planning to run 10 half-marathons in 30 days to raise awareness of mental health issues.

Jacob Morris, a former Waterloo resident, is planning to run 10 half-marathons in 10 Canadian cities this spring in the hope that it will inspire people with anxiety and depression.

"I'm going to use my legs and running a couple of hundred kilometres through this campaign to take on a big physical challenge. And use this large campaign to really talk about these issues," he said in an interview with CBC News.

Morris, who is 25 and now lives in Toronto, said he has suffered from anxiety for most of his life. But at the beginning of 2015, he hit rock bottom and was in a "bad place, emotionally." While researching, he discovered articles that described the benefits physical activities can have on mental health. What started as a walk, led to quick runs and eventually he was competing in a 5K run, and eventually half marathons, which he describes as 'no big deal'.

'I'm not running for a cure'

"One thing I want to focus on with [the] Run to Wellness Campaign is the peaks and valleys," said Morris.

"I'm not running for a cure. I'm more running for management of my mental health, "he said. "I may wake up tomorrow in a panic attack. I may by the end of the week be feeling really, really bad and it might be difficult for me to get out of bed."  

Morris starts his month of runs in mid-June in Toronto. From there he will travel to Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City. He expects to finish the campaign in Kitchener-Waterloo sometime in mid-July.   

Jacob Morris says he'll film his journey for a documentary. He says he not only wants to tell his story but share the other stories of people experiencing anxiety and depression.