A Northern Beaches man is running the length of Central America to fight out against anxiety and depression. Hope William-Smith reports.

Avalon resident Olly Woolrych, 27, is part-way into a six month run from Mexico to Panama to raise depression and anxiety awareness for beyondblue.

Woolrych will run 5500km (approximately the length of Central America), in his quest to raise funds.

Departing in mid-April, he has already completed 2400km of the journey through Mexico and Belize, running 200km a week alone with his possessions.

More than $11 000 has already been raised for beyondblue, with Woolrych well on target to reach his goal of $50 000 by the time he finishes the run in October.

“For most of us, completing one endurance event in a year, such a marathon, would be a major accomplishment. To run a distance equivalent to more than 100 marathons within six months, is nothing short of incredible,” said beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman.

“We would like to thank Olly for his support and hope he has a safe and enjoyable adventure.”

Woolrych is a passionate supporter of raising awareness for anxiety and depression.

“Just after high school, I began experiencing depression and anxiety and it was a really challenging time. My self-esteem dropped dramatically and I felt like a totally different guy,” he said.

“I feel strongly about beyondblue’s work raising awareness of depression and anxiety, and encouraging people to take action when they are struggling.”

“I’m so proud to be supporting beyondblue. I look forward to continuing to push myself over the next few months, as I run through El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama,” said Woolrych.

beyondblue is the national initiative to raise awareness of anxiety and depression, providing resources for recovery, management and resilience.
To donate to beyondblue through Olly Woolrych’s journey, or to follow his progress, visit runningfromtheblues.com and facebook.com/runningfromtheblues