Charity run donations break record
Back 9 Run and Ultra participants woke up to a fresh dusting of snow and weather dropping to -8°C, Oct. 27.
Despite the chill, 18 runners were on the starting line at 6:30 a.m. for their 50-kilometre run. About 200 people showed up throughout the morning for their five, 10, 20, 30 or 40-kilometre runs. The course was located at Bert Church High School’s football field.
“This has just been amazing,” said Co-organizer Scott Brass at around 10:30 a.m. when the last group of runners was starting out.
This is the fifth year the Quick Silver Running Team, an Airdrie-based running group, has hosted its annual charity run.
The event raised $6,000 for the Alberta Children’s Hospital, 10 times the amount raised for the Canadian Liver Foundation, the group’s charity of choice last year. Quick Silver brought in $600 during the charity event last year.
Brass said each year the group chooses a different charity to sponsor and this year, it raised more money than it has raised at any of its past events.
The Children’s Hospital was chosen this year as a recipient because a running coach’s son spent much of last year visiting or being treated at the facility.
Steve Lenz is the coach and father of Cody, who was 14 when he was diagnosed with a malignant tumour last March.
“It’s been fabulous,” said Cody’s mother Candace of the turnout and support generated from the fundraiser.
Some of Lenz’ extended family was on the course Saturday morning. She said she went to the halfway point for the 10-kilometre run to cheer participants on.
“They were incredibly brave,” she said of running in the cold weather.
“The halfway point for the 10-kilometre run was wide open with bitter winds. They were very determined.”
She said the day her son was discharged from the hospital they met a nine-year-old girl from Airdrie just starting treatment who has the same condition as Cody.
“And it’s rare,” she said. “This fundraising will make an impact.”
Margaret Li, Brass’ wife, and the other organizer, said cash donations were being made on Saturday for the Lenz family but totals are not yet known.
“We are really happy,” said Li, who expected more no-shows because of the inclement weather.
She said the runners were eligible for ranking with the Association of Canadian Ultra Runners and suspects that drew some of the high-calibre athletes to Airdrie for the 50-kilometre run.
“People can keep track of their performances throughout the year,” she said.
Hiro Watanabe travelled from Edmonton to participate in the 50-kilometre run.
Watanabe, like most ultra runners, typically run 100-mile courses, he explained.
He participants in these events at least once a month and said this is his 12th run this year.
“It’s an addiction,” he said of what keeps him involved.
Oleg Tabelev from Calgary, was another 50-kilometre runner.
“It was a good course,” he said of the event.
“It was well prepared. The pathway was swept and it was well lit, I will definitely come back.”
He said seeing so many people out, including kids bundled up in strollers, was great.
“I think it was an unbelievable race.”
For a list of full results, visit quicksilverrunning.com