Who Are You Running For?

Last week I had the honor of spending a few days in Toronto with some amazing people from all across Canada.  The 20th annual Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure will happen in over 60 cities from Saint John’s, Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia on Sunday, October 2, 2011.  The Run for the Cure is a fundraising event dedicated to supporting breast cancer research and community education and awareness programs and is the largest, single-day, volunteer-led, fundraising event in support of the breast cancer cause in Canada.  From the beginning, the strength and success of the event was based on its volunteer leadership.  Over 12,000 volunteers across Canada are actively engaged in planning, organizing, managing, fundraising and promoting the Run for the Cure.  Each site is lead by 2 volunteer Run Directors – they all met in Toronto last week for 4 days of training, networking, inspiration and hope.

You can’t help but be impressed by a Run Director.  These folks take on senior, leadership volunteer roles and are charged with mobilizing each local organizing committee and getting the Run for the Cure going across Canada.  While the trill of seeing a sea of pink survivor t-shirts on Run Day is inspiring, much of this role is less than glamorous.  Delivering boxes of t-shirts to Running Room stores, recruiting local sponsors and staying up all night long the Saturday before Run Day to set up the site and route is exhausting.  As an employee of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation I am extremely grateful to our Edmonton Run Directors and the entire Run for the Cure committee.  They truly represent the best that Edmonton has to offer.  In 2010, this event raised $33 million across Canada and in Edmonton alone, over 9,800 participants raised over $1.75 million.  Last week the Edmonton Run for the Cure committee accepted a challenge from the Ottawa committee as they are our closest competition for participants and funds raised.

People step into the Run Director role for a variety of reasons.  Many are survivors themselves or witnessed their mother, sister or daughter battle breast cancer.  Many are drawn to the role through an association with the title sponsor CIBC.  Each person has a story, but the one that touched me the most comes from Regina.  Last year on Run Day, Louis was riding his bike home from a work out at the YMCA.  He had never heard of the Run for the Cure and was surprised to come upon more than 1,000 participants dressed in pink and cheerfully taking to the streets around the Conexus Arts Centre.  After investigating what was going on he discovered a tragic coincidence – his own wife had very recently lost her batter with breast cancer.  This year Louis and his wife’s friend, Lynda are Co-Run Directors of the Regina committee and working on the Run for the Cure in her honor and memory.   

I heard many stories like that last week and it reminded me how much I love my job and how excited I am for Run for the Cure 2011!


2 Responses to “Who Are You Running For?”
  1. Karyn Good says:

    What a wonderful job you have! For the first time ever my book club, The Sanity Seekers, will be running (walking) in support of the Run for the Cure!! Super excited!!! Keep doing what you’re doing!!

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