One in five American adults is diagnosed with a mental health condition in any given year. Yet these conditions are often swept under the rug – people don’t want to talk about them or admit they’re struggling. That’s why Milwaukee native Adel Korkor decided to start the Five Fifty Fifty Run/Walk Series. Through a series of run/walks across the country, Korkor hopes to bring awareness to the issue of mental health and help those who are suffering know they are not alone.
Below, Korkor tells us more about the run/walk series and how the community can get involved!
Why did you decide to embark on this journey?
We have a mental health crisis in America! About 300 people are dying every day from suicide or drug overdose. Depression, anxiety and other forms of mental illness diagnoses are on the rise. One out of every five Americans suffers from mental health issues. In addition to being common, mental illnesses are disabling and costly. This run/walk series is design to bring awareness to all of the above.
What’s the general route for the series? How did you decide on the start/finish?
We will start in Hawaii (May 5) and end in Milwaukee (June 23). The logistics dictated our plan. We divided the country into eight regions. We will fly in between but drive within each region. The route can be found on our website www.fivefiftyfifty.com.
How have you prepared for the series over the months? What type of training did you do?
I have always been a runner. I have added core training and am doing more cross training with the addition of cycling and elliptical activities.
What is your run plan/approach for the 5ks?
I hope to run every race. I do not have a certain time to hit.
Are there any challenges you expect along the way? How will you overcome them?
There will be many challenges: weather, air travel, transportation, race logistics among others. However, my team of five individuals who are managing the process are trying preemptively to deal with any anticipated challenges.
What motivates you to run?
Running has saved my life. I suffered from a panic attack in my early 40s and running has helped me control the symptoms of anxiety and manage my disease.
What are you looking forward to most during your upcoming journey?
Meeting people, sharing stories, enhancing awareness, removing stigma and raising funds.
How can people participate in the Five Fifty Fifty Run/Walk Series?
Go on our website www.fivefiftyfifty.com, sign up for one or more of the races. If they are unable to join the run/walk for any reason, they can sign up for the virtual run/walk. Donations through our website are also greatly appreciated.
Can you tell us more about the organization the series benefits?
The organization that will primarily benefit is my foundation www.adelbkorkorfoundation.org. My foundation’s goal is to make the world a better place for individuals with mental health issues. Other participating and collaborative organizations and foundations will benefit as well.
Any other comments?
There is no time to waste. We have a crisis on our hands and as a society we must react positively and constructively.
Thanks for chatting with us Adel and best of luck with your upcoming journey! To learn how you can get involved with the Five Fifty Fifty Run/Walk Series, check out the website: https://fivefiftyfifty.com/
Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!