Big Brothers Big Sisters teen mentor Rachael Brown feels outdone that her Little Sister, Sarah, ran a 10-kilometre race in April and she’s only run eight kilometres.
The 16 year old meets with Sarah, a Ruth King elementary school student, every Friday. Both love to run.
“She just has a lot of energy,” Brown said. “She reminds me of me a lot as a Grade 6 student.”
Brown ran the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon eight-kilometre road race last year, and raised $400 for Big Brothers, one of the charities participating in the marathon’s charity pledge program.
The marathon event, which features four races, is coming up in October, but the sixth annual pledge program has already started. The idea is to raise awareness and money for 22 participating charities by encouraging individuals to either walk or run for a charity while collecting pledges.
Individuals can sign up at www.runvictoriamarathon.com to become part of an organization’s team.
This year’s goal is $500,000, which will push the total money raised by the program to $1 million.
Rhonda Brown, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters, said the structure of race day makes the event intergenerational.
“The fact that they stagger events means everyone can be part of it, ” she said.
Lucy DuMont, who turned 81 this year, also appreciates the intergenerational aspect. She walked the half-marathon for four years, but has slowed down the last two years and now walks the eight-kilometre road race.
DuMont, who worked at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital until “I got too old to get paid,” now leads up the Mount St. Marythoners, the hospital’s team in the pledge program. The team, whose T-shirts read ‘We Love Lucy,’ aims this year to raise $80,000 for more hospital equipment.
Gillie Easdon from Every Step Counts, a running program for those with mental health issues and addictions, joked about her organization’s link to the event.
“It’s a good fit, it’s the charity that runs,” she said.
The Participating Charities
• BC Cancer Foundation
• Beacon Community Services
• Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria
• British Columbia Schizophrenia Society-Victoria Branch
• CFAX Santas Anonymous
• CHOICES Adoption and Counselling
• Every Step Counts
• KidSport Greater Victoria
• Lifetime Networks Victoria
• Missing Children Society of Canada
• Mount St. Mary Foundation
• Need2 Suicide Prevention Education & Support
• Pacific Centre Family Services Association
• Raincoast Conservation Foundation
• Recreation Integration Victoria
• The Arthritis Society-Joints In Motion
• Threshold Housing Society
• TLC-The Land Conservancy
• Victoria Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation
• Victoria Women’s Sexual Assault Centre
• Victoria Women’s Transition House Society