A MAN who stepped back from the brink has now completed 21 consecutive ultra marathons to raise £100k for suicide prevention charity CALM.

52-year-old British runner, Matt Bagwell, created an event called ‘Run the Country Ultra’ which saw him run over 1050kms across England in September to raise funds and awareness for male suicide prevention.

The 20th run of this extraordinary challenge saw Matt run 46.7km from Abingdon to High Aldbourne on Thursday September 30.

The event started in Cornwall on September 5 and crossed 43 county borders in England before finishing in London on October 1.

Each week 125 people in the UK take their own lives. 75 per cent of them are men.

Ultra-runner and breathwork coach Matt, who lives in Brighton, was nearly one of the high suicide statistics. He has twice planned his own death. He was fortunate to instead ask for help and discover tools such as running and breathwork to help him manage his depression.

Oxford Mail:

Before setting off on the Ultra marathon challenge Matt said: “Why am I doing this challenge? I’ve been there. I’ve literally stepped onto the edge, more than once. At the last minute, for love, for family, for a tiny glimmer of hope, I chose a different path. I wrote a different story. Now I want to share hope, because I know there are so many others across the country who are facing that same darkness. I want my journey to bring people together, make new connections between communities. I want to raise awareness and funding for the professionals who save lives, every single day. When one life is saved, one person on the end of the phone paid for, then every step, every kilometre, every ultra, they’ll all be worthwhile.”

Earlier this year the father of two teenaged girls saved a man who was suicidal on Brighton beach as he was teaching a live breathwork class on Instagram. He pulled the man out of the water and lay on him for body heat transfer whilst he called an ambulance.

Matt said: “Running, being in nature and part of a community have all contributed to my recovery from depression and maintained wellbeing. I want to share this experience with as many people as possible, celebrating what’s possible when we put our mind to it. And of course, when people get to a crisis point, there needs to be awareness of the resources that they can count on, and enough availability of professional help. ”

To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/runthecountryultra

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