This Gypsum, Colorado, runner wants to help prevent suicide.

Lucas Rivera is not just standing up for suicide prevention and people struggling with depression, he’s running for the cause. Rivera has pledged to raise $100,000 for Speak up Reach Out, a suicide prevention group in Eagle County. He is combining the fundraising goal with running the Moab 240—238.3-mile trail run—on October 12, 2018.

“Last year, I had a family member who attempted suicide,” Rivera says. “Most people have no idea how to help. I went to a two-day Assist Suicide Prevention Training to get an outline of how to act and the necessary steps to take when someone comes to you who is having suicidal thoughts.” 

Rivera had been running ultra marathons since 2012, and he had noticed many fundraising efforts associated with the endurance events.And he thought that he could do more than just raise money. Rivera believes he can make a difference if he spreads the word about how getting outside and exercising can help to improve mental health.

“I think all physical movement is completely linked to improving mental health,” he says.  

To learn more about Rivera’s Moab 240 Endurance Run to benefit SpeakUp ReachOut, or to make a donation, visit coloradogives.org/RunningforLife. 

—Kim Fuller