We began Outrun the Stigma as students at the University of Calgary when Co-Founders Leah Shipton and Amy Li noticed a gap in the running culture for runs that raise mental health awareness. Our group of student leaders came together to start Outrun the Stigma Calgary run event to fill that gap. To remain grassroots, every Outrun the Stigma run event invites local community members to speak about their mental health experiences and hosts a Mental Health Expo involving local community organizations, businesses, and charities. Since October 2013, we have brought together more than 4,500 students, community members, and volunteers to raise over $190,000 for mental health organizations in Calgary and Edmonton.
In May 2016 our student club initiative transitioned to a not-for-profit organization with the goal of expanding our online platform and hosting our annual event in cities and communities across Canada.