I’ve been running pretty much my whole life. Even as a young girl, running was my go-to outlet. All I needed was a pair of kicks and I was gone. I clocked my first 5K race when I was 9, beating out both my father and older brother, bragging rights that would only repeat when the official chip times were mailed out (whoa, no internet or email tracking!) later that month. My Dad was the one who got me into running. He wasn’t a pro by any means, but regularly ran 10K’s every Saturday and Sunday, it was his ritual. I suspect he was running from his problems, two kids at home and a wife who was disabled with MS. For those not familiar with the disease, MS is debilitating. There is no cure. Treatment has come a LONG way, but when my Mom was diagnosed back in the 60’s there was literally nothing for her. Slowly but surely, her spine stopped transmitting information, first her legs became wobbly and walking was a feat. Double vision kicked in a little later, reading became difficult and driving was out of the question. She carried on, doing her best to raise us kids right, but most of the time she wasn’t able to leave the house. She slowly became a prisoner in her own body, and eventually she entered into long-term care and never recovered. She died of cancer when I was 20, her body ravaged by both diseases.
In between everything, I never stopped running. What started as a hobby, a sport, became therapy. I run when I’m sad and angry, I return home sweaty and clear headed. I am constantly reminded that my ability is a gift, never to be taken for granted. With two kids of my own now, I have an example to set, and the most important audience is watching. That’s why I’m so excited for my next race, the Wings for Life Run on May 8th (Mother’s Day). All funds raised from this important run go towards spinal research, a cause near and dear to my heart.
The event takes place in arguably the prettiest part of this province, Niagara Falls. And being a Red Bull sponsored run, you know it’s gotta have a catch, and this one is a doozy. There is no finish line. That’s right runners, those seeking PB’s on a perfect course will be pushed beyond their limits, this route goes as long as you can, until eventually a pace car passes you, and well, you’re out. I’m aiming to go the distance and run further than I ever have before, 25km.
Think you got what it takes? Join me and the rest of the world on May 8th and see how far you can go…Sign up here.