The Cloverdale resident, 46, is walking the 5K portion of the event with the help of the Lokomat rehabilitation system at Neuromotion Physiotherapy in Surrey.
He’s been a client there for a couple of years, after suffering a brain embolism and a series of strokes nearly two decades ago.
“Over two or three weeks he’ll complete the 5K walk,” said Ryan’s brother, Brent, a Surrey firefighter. “He does between 1.6 and 1.8 kilometres per day every time he’s there, every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.”
The very first Run Surrey Run is being held as a virtual event from June 1 to 15, and organizers recently posted video of Ryan doing his weekly walk.
Brent said Ryan is excited to be involved using the Lokomat exoskeleton system.
“He got on there a couple years ago, and that was the first time he’d been vertical in many years, probably 17 years,” Brent recalled. “You could see it on his face, a certain amount of happiness and achievement that he felt. So we continued with bringing him there. It’s been awesome for him and he’s really enjoyed it, and then we heard about this Run Surrey Run and we thought he’d be perfect for that.”
Ryan, who turns 47 in July, has lived with Brent and his family in the Clayton area over the past decade.
“I think it’s great that he’s doing it (Run Surrey Run), and kudos to everyone involved in being so supportive of him,” Brent said. “Right from the first time he went on this thing, there was a look on his face that told me that we were doing the right thing, getting him on there, that it gave him a sense of accomplishment that he probably hadn’t felt for years.”
Run Surrey Run, a virtual 5K/10K run/walk/roll for 2021, was planned as an in-person event a year ago, in 2020, but the pandemic forced postponement.
This year, organizers with Balsar Community Foundation made the decision to launch it virtually during the two-week timeframe of June 1-15, with entries on runsurreyrun.com. For $25, registrants will receive a T-shirt, a medal and some recognition for being part of a new community event in Surrey.
Ultimately, the hope is to hold Run Surrey Run on a road circuit that showcases Surrey’s downtown area, perhaps in 2022. With the start/finish at Holland Park, the five-kilometre route is posted to the event’s Facebook page (facebook.com/runsurreyrun), along with photos of event supporters including politicians, business leaders, police officers and others.