Ultra-Marathoner Raises Money for Buddy Check for Jesse!

When Ryan Maskery told us that he was an ultra-marathoner and was training to run the Ultra-Marathon in Moab in October 2021, our first thought was “Whoa. You’re nuts”. Then he told us that throughout his training and at the race he wanted to raise funds for Buddy Check and support our cause. Naturally, we thought “Whoa. You’re nuts and we’re humbled”.

Ryan has set up a GoFundMe Page (click HERE to donate) and will be raising funds and supporting Buddy Check as he grinds it out over the next few months.

About Moab 240-mile Ultra Marathon:

The Moab 240 is a 240-mile (386km) Ultra-Marathon through Utah, USA. It is known as one of the toughest endurance races in the world due to its extreme conditions, from 100 degree heat in the desert canyons during the day to below freezing temperatures in the two mountain ranges crossed at night.

At 7am on Friday October 8th, Ryan will have 112 hours to complete 9 marathons, back to back! The clock will not stop even if he needs to sleep, so this will be a huge challenge over the three or four days it could take to complete!

In Ryan’s words:

This is going to push my limits, and test my strength and character both physically and mentally. This is such a unique race that there are no training manuals or online workout plans for this kind of event.

For me, I am entering unknown territory and I am extremely excited but also slightly terrified at how this is going to push my body and mind. Considering there is 30,000 feet of elevation gain and descent, climbing Mount Everest might be good practice! 

I love to go on multi-day hikes so carrying a heavy pack through the mountains all summer is probably where I will do most of my training! I like to use a smaller race as a ‘warm-up’ for a big race and this year, if all goes to plan I will be lining up at the Finlayson Arm 100km trail race here in Victoria in September.

When asked why Ryan wanted to fundraise for Buddy Check for Jesse, he responded with the following:

Where I grew up in Oxfordshire, England, as a young boy playing sports, I was never even aware of mental health. I was only aware of physical health, I injured myself so many times playing soccer!

When I became stressed, or anxious, when I had depressive thoughts or my mental health was suffering in other ways, I didn’t know why or what that was.

We were never taught in school about the brain and health We were never encouraged to talk about how we felt by our teachers or by our coaches.

Amongst young males we NEVER spoke about our feelings. There was no way, for fear of being ridiculed, would we talk about our feelings. We were supposed to be strong, we were supposed to be ‘tough lads’. Except, what was really happening was I was becoming weaker because I didn’t confront the challenges mental health gives us and I suffered from this later on.

I feel very passionately, like Dr. Stu Gershman does, that if the stigma surrounding mental changes amongst young people, and in particular within sports clubs and teams, that we can make a real difference in changing the perspective of the minds of youths.

Hopefully this will help those that are struggling to take the next steps and seek the help that is out there, and not bottle it up and let it affect them in a negative way like I did until only a few years ago.

I now recognize when my mental health is suffering, I am starting to recognize when and what affects my health and I actively seek help. I have used running as a way to focus my energy, increase my discipline and strengthen my weaknesses. 

Buddy Check works at helping those before they may end up in a situation like I was and I want to help them do that. 

When asked what the money raised will be used for, Ryan mentioned that he wanted to bring mental health awareness to individual sports and desires to bring our message to local running clubs. Some of the money Ryan raises will be used to support those local clubs to hold a Buddy Check event. He would like their coaches to be given the tools they need to help their athletes. Ryan has also given Buddy Check freedom to allocate the funds to where we feel they need to go subsequent to funding individual run clubs.

Ryan is an incredible athlete and to be honest, an overall incredible man. We are humbled by his efforts, discipline and desire to spread a mental health message as he trains and competes. We’d love if you could support him in his efforts. Again, please CLICK HERE to donate to his GoFundMe campaign.

Ryan’s final thoughts:

It is through supporting each other with kindness and compassion that we make real change in our communities. I am hugely grateful for the support I am receiving. I know this will give me so much confidence as I train for this race so I just want to say thank you to everyone, and thank you for spreading the word about Buddy Check and all your generous donations. We have all suffered in the past year with many of us suffering from mental health challenges, so please check in with your Buddies!!