Yana Hempler stands at Mile 0 on Tuesday after completing her Run for Their Lives

Island runner accomplishes long-distance goal in fundraiser

Yana Hempler of Saanich runs length of Island raising money for three Victoria charities

Yana Hempler, a plucky 23-year-old who had just completed a run to Victoria from Port Hardy for charity, looked no worse for the wear at Mile 0 on Tuesday.

The Saanich resident, a personal trainer and occasional fitness model who not long ago finished off her bachelor of commerce degree at the University of Victoria, was upbeat and smiling for the cameras, having run in from Langford that morning.

Asked what she wanted to do now that she had accomplished an objective set almost two years ago, her answer was surprising: “I’m going to drive out to Elk and Beaver Lake and go for a run.”

Run for Their Lives is a fundraiser for three organizations – the B.C. SPCA, Recreation Integration Victoria and the Mustard Seed. Hempler still must crunch the numbers on how much money was brought in, but the campaign is open for donations at canadahelp.org until June 30.

“This is a tremendous personal accomplishment,” said Doug Nutting, executive director of Recreation Integration Victoria.

“We’re an organization that facilitates an active lifestyle for people with disabilities and Yana is a great example of what you can do when you put your mind to it.”

Hempler’s support team – kind of like Terry Fox’s brother – was Ian Simpson, who drove the motorhome and shouted encouragement at various points along the 495-kilometre route. Hempler’s landlord for the past five years, Simpson said he and his wife, Michelle, are kind of like “surrogate parents” to the Russian-born runner and proud she achieved her latest goal.

“She never lost her motivation,” he said. “And she got stronger as the run went on. I could see a different body posture from beginning to end.”

Hempler was joined for the Malahat run in the early hours of Monday morning, and on the final leg of the journey Tuesday, by training partner Kara Delaney, 25, who competed in a Tough Mudder race last Saturday. The women pounded up the hill from Mill Bay together, with only one close call when a truck passed them close.

“We had to hop into the ditch,” Delaney said.

Reflecting on what Hempler tackled and achieved, Delaney said she was an inspiration.

“She’s changed my mind about distance running. She’s made me want to get out there and run a marathon.”


Just Posted

Coroner’s inquest announced for Oak Bay teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

Councillor wants to see concrete action after Saanich declares climate emergency

Coun. Nathalie Chambers doesn’t want declaration to be mere ‘lip-service’

UPDATE: West Shore RCMP reunite camera with owner

Police sought public’s help to identify people photographed on the camera with record-time results

Beware of geese: Nesting season may trigger aggressive behaviour

Greater Victoria residents will have to be wary of nesting geese in the area

Greater Victoria leaders coming together to talk diversity and equity

Royal Road University’s Inclusion Project engages community stakeholders from public, private sectors

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Military officer accused of sexual misconduct, drunkenness in B.C., Alberta

Warrant Officer Jarvis Kevin Malone is charged under the National Defence Act

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

Howard the giant gnome finds new home on Vancouver Island

Iconic attraction will move from Nanoose Bay to Galey Farms in Saanich

Harbour Air to convert to all-electric seaplanes

Seaplane company to modify fleet with a 750-horsepower electric motor

Sailings cancelled after BC Ferries boat hits Langdale terminal

The Queen of Surrey is stuck on the dock, causing delays to Horseshoe Bay trips

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

SPCA seizes 54 animals from Vernon property

Animals weren’t receiving adequate care

Morneau unveils principles for Indigenous ownership in Trans Mountain pipeline

The controversial pipeline was bought by Ottawa last year

Most Read