This past weekend Kurt and his running partner Chris took part in the Sears Great Canadian Race. They were part of a five man team that ran from Caledon all the way to The Village in Blue Mountain. It was 125 kilometers through streets, roads, and trails. The purpose of this race is to raise funds to donate to pediatric oncology units throughout different hospital in Canada; mainly SickKids in Toronto, Ontario. Each team must raise $2,500 minimum to be able to compete. This can be in the form of donations from family and friends or donated by the individuals running themselves. So since Kurt was part of a five man team, he was required to raise $500 on his own. I was quite pleased with how much our friends and family donated to him. He ended up raising over $500 and was the first team member to meet his goal. Teams could be as small as a solo runner or as large as 16 people. They were also allowed to choose to run either the 100 kilometer or the 125 kilometer race. The guys decided to run the 125 kilometer one. They left the house at 4:30 am on Saturday morning and drove to Caledon where the race was starting.
They began their journey at roughly 7 am. The race is split into different legs and teams decide on how far each runner will be going. In the end, I believe Kurt ran around 30 kilometers. There are check point stations along the way and while one person is running, the rest of the team drives to the next check point at which point, they switch off. The morning started out fairly crappy. It was chilly and rainy which are not good conditions for runners, especially those doing 125 kilometers in one day. Caralin and I left to meet the team at the finish line around 10:30 am. Blue Mountain is roughly two and half hours away from our houses without traffic. I drove and we made it there around 2 pm. We checked into our hotel room, then decided to walk around the village until the race was finished. I was slightly disappointed with how disorganized it seemed. There was an online app which we could follow that would tell us where our guys were in the race, however; it seemed to be malfunctioning. They would jump from first, down to 12th, back up to 7th, then to 44th. It was all over the place and when we asked a few of the volunteers at the finish line, none of them seemed to really know anything about the app. The team was anticipating finishing between 3:30-4 pm. Around 3:15 Caralin got a call from Chris saying that he was just outside of the village at the check point but no one was there to sign him in. Runners cannot continue until they have been signed in by the volunteers. He waited 15 minutes before calling Caralin who then had to send someone down to meet him. We were then told that our guys were “running too fast” and “beating the volunteers to their stations”. They actually told us we should call them and tell them to slow down. I was a little frustrated by this, even though this is a charity race, it is still a race and the guys had set a time they wanted to finish by so they shouldn’t have had to slow down just because the volunteers weren’t prepared for them.
They ended up being the third team to cross the finish line but the first team to cross who had done the 125 kilometer race. The first two teams had opted for the 100 kilometer one. I couldn’t have been more proud. All five members ran across the line together and accomplished something that seems impossible to me and I’m sure to others as well. We were treated to a wonderful hot stone sauna room afterwards by one of the team members wives. It was so nice! Saunas aren’t really my thing but it was so chilly out that it felt so great to get warmed up. By this point the rain had stopped (thankfully) but it was still only around 15 degrees outside. the race concluded with a buffet dinner and awards ceremony. During which, the three solo runners came through. If I think it’s impossible for a team to run 125 kilometers in one day, I don’t even know what words to put together to describe three people running 100 kilometers each in one day! They basically ran for 13 hours straight! It was absolutely inspiring watching them come through and seeing them hug and kiss their loved ones. As much as I loved the fact that Kurt came in first, at the end of the day, this race is about so much more than coming in first. It’s about finding a cure for cancer. It’s about helping these brave warriors who fight every day. It’s about giving them hope. It’s about looking forward to a day when this race is no longer needed.
We stayed the night in Blue Mountain, which was hard for us because it was the first time any of the four of us had been away from our babies. My sister and step-sister watched Nate overnight for Kurt and I and Caralin’s parents had their son. It was great to have a night to ourselves but in the back of my mind I kept anticipating Sunday mornings arrival. After checking out of the hotel on Sunday, we grabbed some coffees and did a little shopping before heading home. It seemed pointless to have booked a hotel room and not at least tour the village a bit. Kurt and I purchased some new artwork for the living room as well as some of the greatest fudge I have ever had in my life. Seriously. It. Is. So. Good! We got home late Sunday afternoon and I was more than happy to snuggle my “Grumpy Gus”. Poor Nate didn’t seem to be feeling too well but that just meant we got lots and lots of snuggles!
I’m so proud of Kurt and Chris. They were part of a race that raised over $274,000 all of which is going towards finding a cure for childhood cancers. So incredible. A big thank you to everyone to donated to them as well as everyone who helped out so that Caralin and I could go and cheer the guys on!