As a brand founded on the principles of Sound Mind, Sound Body™, ASICS is underscoring the importance of National Mental Health Awareness Month with a virtual Blue Jean Mile competition, inspired by ASICS elite athlete Johnny Gregorek’s world record-setting race in 2020. Hosted in partnership with Race Roster, the virtual competition will take place in May 2021 and be free to all participants.
“There is no question this last year has created additional concern and appreciation about people’s mental health and for a brand built on the ethos of a Sound Mind in a Sound Body, we believe it’s more important than ever to highlight the significance of mental health awareness,” said Richard Sullivan, President, and COO of ASICS North America. “We are happy to support Johnny and elevate his platform, while also getting people around the country to move in blue jeans for a great cause.”
“We are excited to have ASICS’ support as we aim to aid those struggling with mental illness,” said Matt Kudish, NAMI-NYC Executive Director. “Johnny’s fundraising and awareness campaign last year truly amplified the number of individuals seeking to understand the goals and mission we have at NAMI-NYC.”
In May 2020, Gregorek attempted to break the world record for the Blue Jean Mile, a pursuit that began as a tribute to his late brother, Patrick, who lost his battle with mental illness in 2019. Wearing a pair of Levi’s® 501® jeans, Gregorek accomplished his goal, becoming the fastest person to run a mile while wearing blue jeans with a time of 4:06:25. Last year, Gregorek used his time while training to fundraise over $32,000 for the National Alliance on Mental Illness of NYC (NAMI-NYC). This year, ASICS is proud to partner with NAMI-NYC for the ASICS Blue Jean Mile and has pledged to donate $40,625 in honor of Johnny’s record-breaking time.
“I am truly humbled by the support from everyone in the running community who helped raise over $32,000 last year in memory of my brother and for my sponsor ASICS, who has pledged over $40,000 this year,” said Johnny Gregorek, ASICS Elite Athlete. “I hope we can use this fun event to continue to educate people about mental health and provide a resource for those struggling with mental illness.”
While the ASICS Blue Jean Mile will be free to all participants, those that wish to support NAMI-NYC will have the option to donate during the registration process.