Carrying the burden of mental health at City2Surf


Along with tens of thousands of participants, Curtis Young will be running in this weekends Sun Herald City2Surf event but he will be running with some extra baggage – literally!

To depict the burden that weighs us down when we carry a mental illness, Curtis will be running with a 9 kilogram weight vest for the entire duration of the run.

“I wanted to do something of significance.” Said Curtis. “The vest stands for the burden a lot of people carry. Everyone is able to see my burden, see why I’m hurting and everyone is extremely supportive towards it. I hope it reflects into mental illness - no one can see it, but if we do talk about it, bring it up and get it out in the open, the support will be there.”

Dubbed as the ‘World’s Longest Fun Run’, the City2Surf is a 14 kilometre course spanning from the Sydney CBD to Bondi Beach and attracts over 80,000 runners both competitive runners and social, that can either run or walk the track.  This event started back in 2008 and has raised over $400 million for charities since it’s beginning with the LIVIN Organisation being one of those charities.

“Each year I like to do something that involves raising money for a cause that’s close to my heart and this time round I wanted to combine speaking up and fitness.” Said Curtis of his initiative involving the City2Surf event.  “I’ve been in bad places so I understand how hard it can be to open up about it and how horrible it is to carry the weight around. At times I felt I really only had fitness as my only outlet.”

“So, I  spoke with a few mates who have a lot of time for LIVIN and what they do. Once we got chatting the choice to pop that vest on and hurt for LIVIN was easy.”

After some encouragement from his Dad at a young age to use running as a fitness outlet for his interest in training for boxing, Curtis still runs 6 days a week even though he has hung up his boxing gloves. 

Now his fitness and training is not just for his physical fitness but his mental fitness as well. “I believe exercise is becoming the leader in mental health rehabilitation. I know the difference very quickly if I haven’t done anything (training) that morning compared to when I have, I’m agitated, easily stressed and I just feel absent. It’s honestly my escape. This translates through to me physically.”

We wish Curtis and all those running and supporting charity organisations in the City2Surf event and look forward to seeing all your photos from the track!

Thanks for your support!

If you are interested in hosting your own fundraising initiative, register through our fundraising page or check out EverydayHero.com/au for events in your area that you can jump on board for LIVIN!