MITCHELL, ONT. -- Tom Rowland has run marathons before, but what’s he’s tackling this weekend will be very different.

“It’s called the 4 x 4 x 48 challenge. It’s running 48 miles total. Four miles every four hours. So I’ll be running at 11 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m. and so on, continuing through the night all the way to Sunday for my final leg at 7 a.m.,” says the 21-year-old.

Rowland will essentially be running almost two marathons in two days. That's 77 kilometres overall, in sub-zero weather, with almost no sleep.

“The fatigue will definitely set in. Having to get up at 3 a.m. in the morning and running six-and-a-half kilometres, after running five or six times that day already, will definitely be different than I’ve done before. There won’t be much time for sleep, but that’s part of the challenge,” he says.

The Mitchell native is embarking on this gruelling journey to raise funds for the Tanner Steffler Foundation, a Seaforth-based charity trying to help families and youth dealing with addiction and mental health.

Rowland’s run has raised just over $4,000 so far.

“We will, with Thomas’ help, be able to start our peer-support program. It’s to support families and youth in between their treatments and appointments. It’s so important for our region,” says Shannon McGavin, from the Tanner Steffler Foundation.

“His advocacy for the importance of physical and mental health is really great to see, we’re just so appreciative,” says Ali Wilson, who also works for the Tanner Steffler Foundation.

“Not only our mental health, but our physical health is so important during these COVID times. With the gyms being shut down, being able to run has certainly got me through a lot of things,” says Rowland.

The 21-year-old will need all of that positive energy as he embarks on his multi-day marathons, in -10 C weather.

You can donate towards Thomas’ cause by clicking here.