This mid-year newsletter highlights few exciting things happened at the program in the past six months and how we have continue to uphold our motto: “Learn to Run for Free, Make a Positive Social Impact,and Live a healthier Life”.
First of all, A BIG THANK YOU to everyone for raising over $1100 to support the good works done in the DTES community by Mission Possible, an agency that “transforms lives by helping those challenged by homelessness and poverty achieve a renewed sense of dignity and purpose through meaningful work”.
Another BIG THANK YOU to our program sponsors Skechers Canada Performance Division and their awesome western Canada representative Alex Strote for conducting Skechers Demo Day with us and giving out free Skecher shoes to our program participants draw winners.
In the past six months, I WILL RUN has conducted two complimentary running programs including two beginner clinics and two immediate Ran10/21k groups. In total, we have attracted 47 participants and of those nine were kids under the age of five. It was certainly a great success and joyful experience to test drive our new “stroller moms/dads” in the beginner program. For me, it was amazing to have witnessed the commitment and enthusiasm expressed in these young families . No matter what the weather was like, baby crying or fussing, they just simply showed up at the clinic. This has certainly helped many, including myself (a new dad of 15months!), to remove the deep rooted stigma that family with newborns or young children cannot exercise as a whole unit. It was exciting and fulfilling to see that some of these parents have adopted running and walking since the program started as their daily routine. Many have attested that the health benefits derived from running were significant enough to make positive impacts in their overall well being.
The Ran10/21K group comprised some great dedicated runners this past season. Everyone was diligent to show up on time for our 8am clinic. In 2014, the program re-focused primarily on the running basics. A special 6- weeks program was in placed to re-evaluate proper running forms and bio-mechanics. This was done in an effort to minimize any running related injuries owing to improper running forms. The result was significant that many participants began running more efficiently while complaining less on their past injuries. In conjunction with form building, basic speed workouts were also introduced. As a result of all effective training, many have achieved their personal best for 10K and half marathon events in 2014.
On the personal note, I have participated in 8 races thus far in 2014 ranging from the distance of 5K to full marathon and with three more in the upcoming future! With the continual support from Team Skechers Canada Performance Division and the invaluable coaching from Olympian Dylan Wykes, I have made some major accomplishments. In May, I ran the Vancouver BMO Full Marathon at a time of 2:58:06 ranking in the top 70s, which enabled me to obtain a personal best, enter the “sub-3 marathon club”, and qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2015. Recently, I have also run a great 10K race at the BC Championships Series Summer Fast with a finishing time of 37:31 ranking in the top30s among a very competitive field. This has further allowed me to qualify as a seeded athlete running with the elites in the first pack at the Vancouver Sun Run in 2015.
In mid-August, we will also have our final Ran10/21K program to train for the upcoming Vancouver Rock’n Roll Half Marathon in late October. Stay tuned!
That’s it for now. We are half way through 2014 and it’s not too late to start running again! Stay active, lace up and see you out there!
Your running buddy,
Run to Inspire and to be Inspired.