Man marathoning for malaria prevention
author: destiny kaus | production manager
Dylan Gray is going cross country to protect at risk areas
Dylan Gray is well on his way to completing his run across Canada to raise money for the Against Malaria Foundation. On June 24, he started his journey in Halifax when he dipped his head into the Atlantic Ocean. By Christmas, he hopes to finish off the coast of Vancouver, where he will dip his head into the Pacific Ocean.
After growing tired of the daily routine in his life, Gray decided to pursue this cross-Canada venture.
“I got tired of the grind of work, consume, buy materials, etc.,” states Gray, “so, I sold everything, went homeless, and thought I would start my life’s goal of making this planet a better place for everyone. I am raising money for the Against Malaria Foundation, which prevents malaria in areas where people have nothing.”
Gray certainly has a passion for this cause, which drives him to complete this journey. However, before he started his trek across Canada, he spent ample time training both physically and mentally.
“I physically trained for a couple months before,” Gray remarks. “I have always stayed healthy and in shape. I went homeless for a month before leaving to prepare for the nomad part and sleeping outside/in different places every night. My main training was mental training, which I built up through meditation and yoga for a year or so before taking my first steps. I figured my body would handle the stresses. I just wanted to make sure that I was prepared mentally for so much time alone.”
Typically, Gray runs approximately 50-55 kilometres per day. His furthest distance in a day was 86 kilometres. With the demanding physical conditions he faces on a daily basis, Gray needs to make sure he stays injury-free and healthy.
“Generally, my days are wake up and stretch everything out, make sure all my gear is packed and ready to go, [and] then map out where I will start heading for the day,” states Gray, “Usually I will [run] about 50 kilometres or so, stopping 1-3 times to rest and eat. I like to get my tent set up right around when it’s dark, sometimes after if I need to stealth camp or want to push further than where I am.”
Besides the physical component, considering that Gray is running across Canada without a support team, his mental training for facing each day on his own will definitely come in to play. According to Gray, he chose to run without a support team for the added challenge and added rewards.
“Having to handle all the problems I’ve come across by myself has made me a stronger person inside and out,” remarks Gray. “I wanted people to see everything that I have sacrificed to do this, hoping that way it would inspire more people. I am the happiest and most peaceful I have ever been, and it’s all without materials, a home, or money: all things I gave up to do this.”
So far, Gray has raised around $1000 for the Against Malaria Foundation.
“Everything helps save lives,” Gray states, “$6 helps a family stay protected for 1-3 years, which is a huge difference in their lives.”
Although $1000 may seem like a small amount of money thus far to run across Canada for, that $1000 protects approximately 165 families from malaria for 1-3 years. These numbers themselves show how a small amount of money can go a long way to significantly impact people’s lives.
“A child dies every minute needlessly from malaria that can be prevented with very little money and resources,” states Gray. “Donating saves lives, and it will make yours better. Let it soak in that giving a little bit of money is saving a life far away. It’s the best feeling knowing that you are making a difference!”
As of [DESTINY CHECK BLOG ON TUESDAY], Gray is in [DESTINY CHECK BLOG ON TUESDAY TO GET MOST RECENT UPDATE]. To follow his journey across Canada, check out his blog at eternalequalearth.com. To donate to the Against Malaria Foundation, simply go to againstmalaria.com/stepstoendmalaria.