The idea of I Will Run was conceived in the summer of 2010. My initial thought was to serve my friends working in the ministries who were often overwhelmed with doing good works in the community and yet neglecting their own personal health. Through the run clinic, my aim was to motivate everyone to regain some level of physical activities and raise awareness in pursuing an active healthy lifestyle by sharing my own journey of an once sedentary individual transforming into a health conscious avid runner.
The very first clinic was launched on the last Saturday afternoon of February in 2011. The program was slated to commence at 4:15pm and a good 20 participants had enrolled via email. A glance out the window from my study was a beautiful day with clear blue skies, I was eager to meet everyone in less than two hours at the Safeway parking lot. Just as I was gathering my bright orange whistle and other run supplies, I noticed big flakes of white fluffy stuff were falling off the sky. I procrastinated for a good thirty minutes, while the condition slowly turned into a small blizzard. My heart was shattered and I was ready to call off our inaugural session. After all, everyone’s safety precedes anything else on a day like that. I was, however, determined to inform anyone persistent enough to be there that I would show up.
It was 4pm I slowly walked to the meeting place and was prepared to be left in despair expecting none to appear. The weather was at its worst with more snow dumping down and the temperature dipped below zero. I fixated at the entrance of the parking lot. To my amazement, I saw familiar faces were appearing one after the other. We had people traveling from different parts of the town with one runner even waited a long time for the bus that would take her here. In the end, sixteen people attended the first class.
That was the birth of I Will Run, a day that seemed impossible but made possible by individuals with determination and persistence. Our first run was freezing and somewhat painful to some but I was certain that everyone’s heart was aflame with a goal to better oneself. Towards the end of the 4-month program, seven of us including myself ran our first ever half marathon at the Vancouver Scotiabank half marathon.
Since our first program, I Will Run has continued to offer many more programs helping people of all fitness levels and abilities to reach their health goals. Throughout the past four years, the program has also undergone several major modifications to further enhance the participant’s overall experience. These included, for examples, inviting guest speakers of various healthcare disciplines to give running related topics and the introduction of Skechers Demo Day for participants to try out the latest foot-wears.
The biggest change happened in 2013 when the program got a new name and a new mission: I WILL RUN FOR A GOOD CAUSE. We’ve partnered up with Mission Possible, “a Christian humanitarian agency that transforms lives by helping those challenged by homelessness and poverty achieve a renewed sense of dignity and purpose through meaningful work.“ Over thousands of dollars were collected from the run clinic and donated to Mission Possible for a good cause.
I Will Run’s motto, however, remains unchanged since its inception -“Learn to Run for Free; Make a Positive Social Impact;and, Live a Healthier Life.” An approximate of 150 unique members of all levels ranging from the age of five and up to sixty had participated. Many, who have once found running to be challenging and painful, have come to realize and appreciate the joy and health benefits derived from the sport. The uniqueness of the run clinic is the strong emphasis on the building of a proper running form and bio-mechanics allowing one to run more efficiently and minimize any running related injuries.
The story of I Will Run began on February 26, 2011 but may it forever carries on in many more people’s lives.
“Run to Inspire and to be Inspired”
I WILL RUN Program Founder,