It’s time to Ruck It Up, not suck it up, when it comes to mental health on May 27 in Wakamow Valley.  

The third annual Ruck It Up for Mental Health is put on by locals Brett Hagan, Tyler Simpson and Chris Robart to raise funds for local non-profit Journey to Hope’s mental health awareness campaigns and suicide prevention initiatives.  

Rucking is the act of walking or running with a weighted backpack that is generally popular with military training. The trio also noticed that it was a good workout both physically and mentally.  

“If you don't like running or it's hard on your knees and you're not big for weightlifting, this is a nice medium. You're getting that extra resistance from the weight on the backpack, so it's helping you up your heart rate and everything more than a basic walk,” Hagan said.   

“You're getting that as well as adding that (weight) to your legs and your back and your hips and everything that gives you that extra resistance, which would be like lifting some weights every so often.”  

Hagan added that the backpack is symbolic of the burden carried by those struggling with their mental health.  

“The representation of the backpack, for anybody that doesn't struggle with mental health, was the idea of putting that on your back to get an idea of what the burden of carrying mental health daily can feel like,” he explained.  

The event gets underway at 9 a.m. at the Rotary Pavillion in Wakamow Valley across from the former Burger Cabin. The ruck will be five to 5.5 kilometres around the valley. Following the ruck will be a penny parade for items donated by local businesses.  

New this year, they will be having an afternoon school ruck to get kids involved on May 25 at 1:30 p.m. Students from St. Michael's School and St. Mary's School will take part in a 30-minute ruck.  

If you don’t want to participate but would like to make a donation or sponsor the event, you can email