Runners participate in the inaugural 2019 Step Up for Mental Health.

Step Up for Mental Health returning to downtown Saskatoon this fall

Registration is open for Cameco’s Step Up for Mental Health run and people are encouraged to secure their spot before the wildly popular fundraiser sells out.

After two years of virtual offerings, the event will once again bring a party-like atmosphere to downtown Saskatoon on race day — which this year falls on Sept. 24. Runners can also opt to complete their five- or 10-kilometre run virtually from Sept. 19-25.

“If our first day of registration is any indication, this is going to be a really popular race,” says race director Jonathan Huntington.

All money from entry fees and donations is matched by Cameco and distributed to mental health projects and programs in Saskatchewan through the Cameco Fund for Mental Health. Since the inaugural race in 2019, more than $1.2 million has been raised.

Participants in the inaugural 2019 Step Up for Mental Health.
Participants in the inaugural 2019 Step Up for Mental Health.

“That’s an incredible testament to our running community for people to be that generous,” Huntington says. “The pandemic put a spotlight on the need for mental health support. Now, as we come out of the pandemic, the need to help those with mental health challenges is even greater. That makes Step Up for Mental Health even more important this year.”

Race fees include a shirt, bunnyhug, water bottle and medal and those participating in the in-person event will enjoy live entertainment at the start and finish area. Fees are presently set at $60 for all events (with lower rates for students) and will increase on June 1. People who struggle with addictions and/or mental health issues can sign up for free along with a support person.

Huntington has heard countless stories of people who’ve signed up for the race in the past because of struggles they or their loved ones have had with mental health. When he lines up himself for the 10km race he’ll be thinking about their stories — and his own.

The sold-out field in the 2019 Step Up for Mental Health Run.
The sold-out field in the 2019 Step Up for Mental Health Run.

“Every single family that I come across has mental health challenges and my family is no exception. I’m the first to admit that I see a counselor,” he says. “The mental health topic, when I was a kid growing up, wasn’t talked about and I want to make it part of my own personal mission to increase the conversation around mental health.”

This year’s race is capped at 6,500 runners (across both in-person and virtual events) and Huntington is keen to hit that number soon.

“We really want people to sign up in the month of May and we want to sell this race as quickly as we can,” he says.

For more information or to register for Step Up for Mental Health, visit the event website at You can also head to Cameco’s website to see how funds raised from previous years’ events have been distributed to community groups.