independent

Sunday 22 October 2017

Jason runs for 24-hours for local ASK campaign

By Sara Gahan

FRank Staples and Sharon Pettit from ASK with Jason Kehoe of Marathon Fitness who is running a twenty four hour endurance race in Listowel to raise funds for ASK.
FRank Staples and Sharon Pettit from ASK with Jason Kehoe of Marathon Fitness who is running a twenty four hour endurance race in Listowel to raise funds for ASK.

Fitness fanatic Jason Kehoe gave a helping hand to Cllr Frank Staples' local ASK campaign by taking part in a 24 hour endurance race, last Friday in Listowel, County Kerry.

Participants had to run at least 100 km within 24 hours in the race to be considered finished, but Jason from Marathon Fitness, Redmond Road, had set an even higher goal for himself as he wanted to achieve 160 km.

Jason said: 'As I crossed the line the MC shouted out that the next man to reach 100 miles (160 km) is Jason Kehoe. I fell to my knees and waved my hands up to the sky. Emotions were running high, tears in my eyes and I welcomed the big celebrations at the finish line.'

Jason approached Frank because of what is going on in Wexford at the moment regarding mental health difficulties.

'It is just terrible and I have lost some friends to suicide. Even a year ago I found myself feeling really down, but I talked to someone and now I feel OK again,' said Jason, who is from Beechville, Clonard Road, Wexford.

Jason said he is using this fundraising event to highlight the serious matter of suicide around Wexford. There is a better solution than suicide and ASK is a great campaign, Jason said people need to talk more to deal with their inner demons.

'My son is only 16 and I already had to bring him to three funerals where his friends fathers took their own lives,' said Jason.

The endurance race was to raise awareness and funds for the ASK campaign, a charity which is very close to Wexford's heart and run by Cllr Staples. Wexford is in the grip of a mental health crisis, where death by suicide seems to be the only answer for people.

The ASK campaign encourages us all to become more aware of those around us, to be knowledgeable of the signs of a mental health illness, to identify those around us who may be experiencing a time of mental health difficulties and to simply ask them 'are you OK' and continue to ask, because one conversation can save a life.

'This is not about me, it is about the campaign. At the end of the day I am doing something I love, but I am doing it to encourage people to come forward and talk,' said Jason.

People can visit Marathon Fitness and Ask Facebook page to access the GoFundMe page where you can still donate towards the local charity.

Wexford People

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