James Stephens : "stoked" to be raising money for mental health

James Stephens has already got his sights set on a second half marathon after raising more than $4000 for the Mental Health Foundation at Queenstown over the weekend.

The 24-year-old, who's well known as the strapper for pacing star Self Assured, completed his first half marathon in two hours 17 minutes and six seconds.

"I knew it was going to be a long way and I got a little bit tired but it was a lot of fun and I met a lot of really nice people," Stephens says.

But it was raising funds for a cause that's close to him that was the main objective.

He wanted to raise $2500 for the Mental Health Foundation. Thanks to the generosity of the harness racing community, his friends, family and many others the total ended up at $4150.

"I was stoked with that and I'd like to thank everyone who supported me."

There was even a $1000 donation from Self Assured!

A full-time employee at the All Stars stables, Stephens had initially entered the Dunedin half marathon earlier in the year but didn't go ahead with it after he became sick.

He then decided on running 21 kilometres in and around Queenstown, touted as one of the most scenic courses anywhere in the world.

"Things got a bit busy around Cup week but I tried to run two to three times a week."

Now that he's ticked the first one off he is eyeing up Auckland next February.

"We will probably have a few horses up there then so it could work out well."

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