SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — There’s much more than strength in numbers: momentum and motivation, too. South Dakota is seeing this play out not only in The 437 Project’s run across the state, but also in the effort’s message. Erica Knips of Sioux Falls ran Thursday in the Sturgis area for the project.

“They went by in a flash,” Knips said of the miles. “There wasn’t a part really that got challenging, because whenever there may be little hill or anything, I just thought about those in need.”

The relay trek across South Dakota is raising money for the Helpline Center, which connects people to mental health resources. Knips ran after Lisa Larson of Mitchell.

“I just finished 10 miles running through Sturgis,” Larson said. “Absolutely gorgeous.”

Larson is a survivor. She once tried to end her life. Today, she is an example of how someone can persevere.

Dan Santella: How are you feeling right now?

“Alive,” Larson said. “Alive. It’s good to be alive; I’m sober and alive. Feel great.”

Psychiatrist Dr. Roni Radigan of Sioux Falls is also among the dozen runners who are taking part in The 437 Project. She pressed on in less-than-ideal circumstances on Thursday.

“Battling an injury, so had to push though, but getting lost in thoughts and reflecting on conversations with patients and reasons why I’m here really helped me get through,” Radigan said.

Kelly Marshall of Sioux Falls started the group’s journey from west to east on Thursday.

“To be the first one to start on the Wyoming border was extra special,” she said.

Running can be an intensely personal activity, but this effort also runs on camaraderie.

“It’s just a really special thing to be part of a team like this, I think,” Marshall said. “You go into it knowing each other in varying levels of familiarity, and then as we travel the miles and make our way across the state, we learn so much about each other.”

“I’m just so proud to be a part of this group,” Larson said.