They stomped through the woods — for a great cause.
More than a couple hundred runners and bystanders came out on Oct. 7 to the third annual Stomp Out Suicide Trail Run, hosted by the Pasco County Parks, Recreation, & Natural Resources Department, at Withlacoochee River Park in Dade City.
The event is held to raise awareness to suicide prevention and related mental health issues.
The run was started three years ago as part of the department’s “RECreate Your Mind” initiative, which hosts events to shed light on this taboo and often stigmatized topic.
Department officials and event organizers said the event was created after three suicides in a short span that affected the department and provided more than enough motivation to create the trail run, as well as other events.
Suicide is a national health problem and the second leading cause of death for those ages 10 to 24.
The event included a 10K, 5K and mile fun run, all through the trails near the Withlacoochee River.
Each runner received a finisher medal and T-shirt.
Participants also could do a “Double Stomp” of the 5K and mile run or do a 5K Dog Run. Nearly 10 participants brought their furry companion.
Additionally, race officials encouraged participants to take a blank bib and write down a person and/or reason for why they were out at the event.
Many participants proudly displayed their reasons for being there during the early-morning run.
RECreate Your Mind
Details: The Pasco County Parks, Recreation, & Natural Resources Department hosts events that bring awareness to suicide prevention. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for those ages 10 to 24. The department holds the event with the hope of shedding light on this taboo and often stigmatized topic.
For more information on upcoming events hosted by the department, visit secure.rec1.com/FL/pasco-county-fl or the department’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PascoParksFL.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, call or text 988 or visit 988lifeline.org.
Published October 18, 2023