“I’ve never been a runner and only got the bug two and a half years ago. I took up running when I was at the bottom point of my life.
Suffering in silence with depression and anxiety since I was 16 years of age. I turned to drugs and alcohol to suppress how I was feeling emotionally and quickly I reached a point where being around myself in a conscious state I turned to thoughts of self-harm.
I reached out to my older brother Ben and his wife Darcelle, they took me instantly to give me the much-needed help and guidance I needed to get myself back from the deep hole I was in. I would see my brother Ben running hundreds of kilometres a week.
On October 2nd 2016, I laced up my shoes, no training and no idea what I was about to embark on. After the most defining 25km of my life I was hooked, the high was better than any drug and the feeling of achievement filled my mind so that no negative thoughts could. Now I am hooked…”
Jake is running a marathon every day in August to raise awareness for LIVIN, a charity dedicated to reversing the stigma around mental health by encouraging people to speak up and talk about their feelings, issues and challenges. Jake credits running with improving both his mental and physical health.
I photographed Jake as part of a personal project exploring what motivates people to run long distances. These days there’s no need to run, with all our clever technology like self-driving cars, but people still choose to run incredibly long distances for personal reasons. We used to have to run from danger but now the reasons have shifted from external to internal. Mental health kept coming up in my conversations; in such a busy world it seems like running provides a space to meditate and an opportunity for self reflection.
To follow this project go to Instagram @projectlongrun.