THUNDER BAY – I have not been a runner for very much of my life. In fact, for the great majority of my life I was the person who sat on the couch watching others run marathons on TV, thinking ‘I could do that if I wanted to’. I never took this thought seriously, but dismissed it as soon as I changed the channel to another program. All this changed on Father’s day of 2010.
My wife and I were visiting some friends that day, and one of them told me about a team of people that she was training to run the half marathon in the very first Thunder Bay Marathon – Miles with the Giant. Both my friend and my wife suggested that I run with them. That night I told my 15 year old son that I was going to run the half marathon and invited him to run with me. He accepted, and our training started the very next day.
That September, after only 3 months of running, I completed my first half-marathon in 2 hours and 3 minutes. Not a stellar time, however when I crossed the finish line I felt a thrill unlike anything I had experienced before – I felt as if I had actually just won the race. In short, I was hooked on running.
In 2011 I again ran the half-marathon in Thunder Bay as a member of Team Epilepsy Ontario to help raise epilepsy awareness in our city, while at the same time raising much needed funds for Epilepsy Ontario. This time I ran beside my 18 year old daughter, who had been diagnosed with epilepsy when she was only 1 year old. As we crossed the finish line I knew that I would keep running in future events to continue raising epilepsy awareness.
The third organized run I entered was the Running Room’s 10k Resolution Run on December 31, 2011, which was run to increase epilepsy awareness in Thunder Bay. The culmination of my involvement in these three events led to becoming part of a group of people that established a new run in Thunder Bay called ‘Run for Epilepsy’.
The first annual Run for Epilepsy will take place on Sunday August 19, 2012 and registrations are now being accepted. More information, as well as registration forms, can be found at either www.runforepilepsy.ca or at our Facebook page Run for Epilepsy.
In addition to taking part in Run for Epilepsy this August, I will once again be running with my daughter in the Thunder Bay Marathon as a member of Team Epilepsy Ontario. We will be running the half marathon.
I would like to invite anyone reading this to join Team Epilepsy Ontario and help us raise epilepsy awareness in our city while at the same time raising financial support for Epilepsy Ontario. Anyone interested in joining us can simply select Epilepsy Ontario under the Run for a Reason portion of TB Marathon’s registration forms. It is my hope that many of the people reading this will register to participate in Run for Epilepsy as well as running for Epilepsy Ontario at the TB Marathon.
If I were to state a running dream that I would like to fulfill, it would have to be taking my epilepsy awareness run to the Boston Marathon and running in the event that I once sat on the couch thinking “I could do that if I wanted to.” However, running in Boston isn’t the important thing – what is important is to keep on running where I can to continue raising epilepsy awareness by showing other people with epilepsy that we are capable of doing pretty much anything we set our mind to.
After all, “The race isn’t always to the swiftest, but to those who keep on running.” – Unknown
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