Marathon a mission for Victoria athlete

Christopher Mavrikos, 32, hopes to raise thousands of dollars for breast cancer research in memory of his late mother

Christopher Mavrikos

Two weeks ago, Christopher Mavrikos ran farther than he ever thought he could.

The 32-year-old passed the 36-kilometre mark with jelly-like quads, sore hips, bruised feet and his sweat-soaked hair plastered to his forehead.

“The 36K was a huge route,” he said days later, in a state of disbelief of what he’d accomplished.

Mavrikos, whose previous longest distance was a half-marathon, or 21 km, he ran in May, has a ton of emotion backing his bid to complete a full marathon on Oct. 9.

On that 36-km run, Mavrikos also ran the gamut of emotions, from determination to hopelessness, sorrow to elation.

But the main reason he was able to push through – and the reason he’s certain he’ll complete the GoodLife Victoria Marathon – is his late mother and the other Canadian woman affected by breast cancer.

“Crossing that finish line, if I’m able to inspire just one person to make a difference, to donate to the cause, how can I say no to that? It’s obviously, for me, my mom’s legacy, but it’s about keeping her memory alive.”

Lynn Mavrikos died of breast cancer in 1997 at 38 years old. She was initially diagnosed at age 32 and her son said her strength helped her live through those six years with the disease.

“It’s her strength, her determination that is in me and I take solace in that. I know I’m going to have to dig deep on that Sunday (Oct. 9), (but) I know she’ll be there.”

Mavrikos is creating a track record of pushing himself hard to bring breast cancer into the spotlight.

Last year, he raised more than $30,000 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s Run for the Cure – the most money raised by any individual in Canada, ever. For his efforts, he received the Determination Award at the Run.

Mavrikos will attend the Run for the Cure this year as well, held on Sunday (Oct. 2). He’ll run the 5-km route with other participants as he has for the past four years since he moved back to Victoria from Vancouver (but he will run it twice – it’s part of his tapered training schedule for the marathon the following weekend).

In addition, Mavrikos organized a classy evening of appetizers, prizes and presentations on Wednesday (Sept. 28), at which he aimed to raise $10,000.

Mavrikos hopes his marathon will prompt people to donate $1 per kilometre he’ll run on Oct. 9, or $42 each, to his cause at thinkpink2020.com. All proceeds go to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

“If I can inspire one person, then I’ve done what I can do,” he said.

Until the marathon, Mavrikos, general manager at Romeo’s Place on Hillside Avenue, plans to continue his training and fundraising efforts.

“People think I bite off more than I can chew, but if I put my mind to anything, I think I can do it. It’s been said before that I’m a man on a mission and I definitely am – and not only when I’m doing my work on my fundraising efforts, but when I’m running I know there’s someone with me and that pushes me on.

“There’s definitely times where she’s there and present for sure,” he continued.

“Sometimes you can hit a bit of an emotional barrier and a song (on my iPod) can kind of evoke thoughts or feelings, and you feel that beat in your heart and you look up at the sky and push on and get yourself up that damn hill.”

Think pink

Mavrikos named his fundraising website thinkpink2020.com, because he believes researchers can find a way to end breast cancer by 2020.

“It’s not just a fabricated number. They are truly making this a reality and where are we at right now? 2011? We have nine years to go. I think it’s definitely achievable.”

Run for  the cure

What: 5-km run, speeches, entertainment

When: Sunday, Oct. 2. Registration at 7 a.m., opening ceremonies at 8:35 a.m., run starts at 9 a.m.

Where: University of Victoria

Why: to raise money for breast cancer research

How: visit www.runforthecure.com and click on Victoria under the Locations tab to find donor and team information

 

 

 

Just Posted

$775-million wastewater project on track to be completed on time, within new budget

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins praises public education aspect of project

Downtown Victoria Green Party office faces break-in

Racelle Kooy’s office saw thousands of dollars worth of equipment stolen

Regional naturalists cook up four spook-tacular forest events

CRD’s kid-friendly events feature Halloween activites, costume contest, guided walks

Celtic vespers welcomes award-winning Ecclestons

Winners of the Vancouver Island MPower Award perform Oct. 20

Candidate Corner: Cowichan-Malahat-Langford hopefuls talk health care

Part four in a four-part discussion with local candidates

YouTube video of Revelstoke grizzly bear goes viral

Why did the grizzly bear cross the railway tracks?

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Green Party leader Elizabeth May rolls through Vancouver Island to boost a party stronghold

Mocks media, evokes Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and promises change

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

RCMP members search shore along Stories Beach near Campbell River

Ground search not thought to be related to Oct. 16 homicide: RCMP

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

Woman charged with numerous drug offenses stemming from a raid earlier this year at Island property

Police make arrest on an outstanding warrant dating back to January

B.C. RCMP officer suing the force for malicious prosecution

Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth cleared of wrongdoing after misconduct hearing

Most Read