Gypsum’s Lucas Rivera will be running with a mission to support SpeakUp ReachOut
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To learn more about Lucas Rivera’s Moab 240 Endurance Run to benefit SpeakUp ReachOut, or to make a donation, visit www.coloradogives.org/RunningforLife. If you or someone you know is in crisis, call Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255.
GYPSUM — Lucas Rivera lives to run, and he describes his latest undertaking as “running for life.”
In October, Rivera will be running the Moab 240 — which is actually a 238.3-mile trail run and one stage of a renowned Triple Crow 200-mile race series. An avid distance runner, Rivera completed the first stage of the Triple Crown last year when he ran the Bigfoot 200 through the Cascade Mountain Range.
He has always run to push himself, but this fall, he will also be running to benefit locals who need assistance. He is collecting pledges, and his Moab 240 run will benefit Speak Up, Reach Out — a local suicide prevention group.
“I want those who are suffering through dark times to be able to see the light and know that there is help and hope,” Rivera said.
Rivera works as the assistant manager at the Gypsum Recreation Center, and earlier this year, he participated in a Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training presented by Speak Up, Reach Out. It was an eye-opening experience.
“People really don’t know what to say to people in need,” Rivera said.
A recent youth suicide pushed Rivera from training to action.
“I feel the valley is in dire need for more resources,” he said.
Rivera noted that last November, Eagle County voters passed a sales tax on marijuana products with the proceeds pledged to mental health services.
“I feel like that’s a step in the right direction, but even with the money, it will only scratch the surface of what we need in this valley. This valley is in huge need for help.”
As he thought about what he could do personally to improve local mental health services, Rivera decided to dedicate his upcoming endurance run to the cause. His fundraising goal is $100,000.
“All monies raised will go directly to Speak Up, Reach Out, and donations are tax deductible as charitable contributions to the full extent permitted by law,” Rivera said.
He has begun collecting pledges through a Colorado Gives website. He will take off on the Moab 240 on Friday, Oct. 12.
The Moab 240 Endurance Run is a footrace through some of Utah’s stunning and challenging terrain. The run begins and ends in Moab, and the route runs southwest from Moab by the Colorado River through the Canyons section and south to the Abajo Mountains and then north to the La Sal Mountains to return to Moab for the finish.
After completing the Bigfoot 200, Rivera believes he is better prepared to tackle the Moab 240, the longest run he has ever attempted.
“I only slept four hours through 100 straight hours at the Bigfoot 200 last year, but I hope to be moving faster and sleeping a little longer in Moab. The lack of sleep at Bigfoot 200 caused some hallucination, and with that you can get lost easily,” he said. “I cannot afford to get lost in a race like this because you are racing the clock and cut-off times throughout the course.”
In addition to raising $100,000 for Speak Up, Reach Out, Rivera’s goal is to finish the Moab 240 in less than 100 hours.
Fundraising kick off
Rivera announced his plan to run the Moab 210 as a Speak Up, Reach Out benefit in an Eagle County Classifieds Facebook post last week.
“If everyone in this group donated just $5, we would hit my fundraiser goal,” he wrote in a challenge to the Facebook group.
He has since gotten a strong response from the community, and he has started reaching out to local businesses for donations and matching funds.
“I am getting a lot of positive feedback and a lot of people want to help,” Rivera said. “I am kind of out on the hunt. I want to hit the $100,000 goal, and I think that’s a feasible goal in this valley.”