COLORADO - John Paul Lacroix set out to run from the lowest point in Colorado to the highest to raise awareness for mental illness. It was a 305 mile journey.
The run started at the Colorado/Kansas border and continued along the backcountry roads of Colorado up to the 14,433' summit of Mount Elbert. There were plenty of curveballs thrown at John and the team along the way.
The weather turned nasty with heavy rain across the Eastern Plains turning the dirt roads into deep mud. They continued on. A larger storm dumped heavy snow in the mountains including Mount Elbert.
The team was forced to change plans after 200 miles of running. John said, "This was never about being a hero." They used a car for final miles to the Mount Elbert trailhead.
John successfully summited Mount Elbert on October 1. John said, "It doesn't matter what happens from A to B just as long as I get from A to B. I see that all the time in ultrarunning, and that is true in life when you're dealing with mental illness."
"It's not who you are - it doesn't define you. No matter what you have you are enough," said John.
Longtime friend and ultrarunner Doctor Kelly Shockley had this to say about John, "His passion is building community and helping people realize their real potential through organizing group runs and races that are HARD! They're opportunities he's created to help push people, maybe to their breaking points, not because he's a jerk, but to help lead people on a journey of self-discovery. I have experienced this firsthand this past year."