Runner and suicide prevention advocate
inspires his Native community

By Waylon Pahona

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Dirk Whitebreast from the Meskwaki Nation grew up in Iowa. In 2011 Dirk ran 10 marathons in 30 days.

Dirk was never a runner and he expressed how he would run at night due to being embarrassed about his weight. He talked about his journey of running and how one mile turned into three miles and three miles turned into six miles and then he signed up for his first half marathon.

Dirk said that, "Every step that you take after this is something that you have never done every step is brand new."

He did this in memory of his sister who lost her life to suicide. He also ran for his own healing and health as he stated during his speech at the recent Ho Chunk Prevent Suicide Conference. Dirk has an amazing story and he has traveled across the states sharing his life and bringing Suicide Prevention awareness to Native communities. He also recently started his own running company called Red Earth Running Co. to help other runners and support Native communities with running.

Dirk is holding a picture of his sister Darcy Jo Keahna and standing behind the medals he received on his journey to bring awareness.