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, Darius Sam, 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

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Summerland has received conditional approval for $6 million in federal funding to build a one-megawatt solar array to provide power to the community. (Stock photo)
Summerland council reaffirms solar project in 4-3 vote

Coun. Richard Barkwill had earlier written letters in opposition to initiative

Interior Health reported 43 new COVID-19 cases in the region Feb. 23, 2021 and no additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
43 new cases of COVID reported in Interior Health

No new deaths, Williams Lake outbreak over

Thomas Kruger Allen
Thomas Kruger-Allen ‘poses a serious safety concern in his community’: Crown

Crown asking for 5-6 years jail for beach attack that left one of three victims with a brain injury

This year’s Pink Shirt Day event will be held virtually with the Breakfast in a Box. (Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs photo)
Pink Shirt Day 2021 kicks off with virtual event

“When you’re functioning from a place of kindness, there’s no way that bullying can exist.”

COVID-19 testing at the Vernon Health Services Unit. (Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star)
Two Vernon high schools exposed to COVID-19

Vernon Secondary and Seaton were sent home notices yesterday of exposure event

Vancouver Canucks left wing Antoine Roussel (26) tries to get a shot past Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) during second period NHL action in Vancouver, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks cough up 3-0 lead, fall 4-3 to visiting Edmonton Oilers

Vancouver falls to 8-13-2 on the NHL season

Jessica McCallum-Miller receives her signed oath of office from city chief administrative officer Heather Avison on Nov. 5, 2018 after being elected to Terrace City Council. McCallum-Miller resigned on Feb. 22, 2021, saying she felt unsupported and unheard by council. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Terrace’s 1st Indigenous councillor resigns citing ‘systemic and internalized racism,’ sexism

McCallum-Miller said in a Facebook post she felt unheard and unsupported by council

Temporary changes to allow for wholesale pricing for the hospitality industry were implemented June 2020 and set to expire March 31.	(Pixabay photo)
Pubs, restaurants to pay wholesale prices on liquor permanently in COVID-recovery

Pre-pandemic, restaurateurs and tourism operators paid full retail price on most liquor purchases

Lake Country residents are warned about another rock slide on Pelmewash Parkway, Feb. 23, 2021. (Melanie Marie photo)
Rockslide on old Okanagan highway

Pelmewash Parkway once again littered with debris

Wade Dyck with Luna, a dog who went missing near the Chasm for 17 days following a rollover on Feb. 5. (Photo submitted).
Dog missing for 17 days through cold snap reunited with owner in northern B.C.

Family ecstatic to have the Pyrenees-Shepherd cross back home.

Quesnel RCMP confirmed they are investigating a residential break-in at a home on the Barkerville Highway. (File image)
Thieves make off with $300K in Cariboo miner’s retirement gold

Tim Klemen is offering a reward for the return of his gold

Most Read