Vancouver, BC - The sun shone brightly as runners lined up at Queen Elizabeth park Sunday morning on May 6th, awaiting the sound of the horn which would signify their start. Ahead of the Windermere Running Club was the looming challenge that the members had trained every Tuesday and Thursday morning for. Many members of the running club were going to tackle their very first half marathon hosted by BMO and RunVan.
The race began at Queen Elizabeth Park, and participants had to follow the route to reach the finish line downtown on Pender St. Each member of the running club had a different reason for running the half marathon.
“I joined running club because my lung health is poor due to asthma. I wanted to improve my breathing naturally so I joined the running club,” says Parmveer Rakhra, a member of Windermere’s Running Club.
Each step took them closer to their goal, and along the 21.1 km route, neighbours, family and friends supported by cheering loudly with banners and high-fives. The half marathon and the full marathon can both be mentally and physically challenging, and require extensive training. Windermere’s Running Club poured a lot of effort just for this run and, not one member gave up. Those who could not run due to injuries volunteered for the event, demonstrating their kindness and dedication to the sport.
“Although the half marathon was the big finale, for me, it was never just about crossing that finish line, it was about the small successes along the way. I ran the half marathon to prove to myself that challenges are meant to be taken, and after all those training runs throughout the year, the half marathon was the last leg of the year-long race,” says Clara Sun, who had one of the fastest Windermere times of 1:48:05.
Windermere’s very own police liaison officer, Constable Zhalovaga, and counselor Ms. Kim also ran the race. Their great efforts encouraged the team to push on through the challenges and to accomplish their year-long goal. Running Club celebrated their achievement by receiving their medals and going for a meal at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Despite having sore bodies after the big hurdle, the entire team had bright smiles on their faces and showed that rather than running from away from their challenges, they decided to run towards them instead.
Constable Zhalovaga shared this quote with the club the night before the run,“The stages of a marathon are a fight between your mind and your body. Your mind will keep telling the body to run, while the body will start to give up. They will keep fighting until neither have the energy to fight any longer. This is when your heart must step in and convince both your mind and your body to keep going. That’s exactly why, marathon runners have strong bodies, strong minds and the strongest of hearts.”
About Windermere’s Running Club: Windermere’s Running Club has been training since the start of the school year with the end goal in mind to complete the BMO Half Marathon. They meet in the school foyer every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 7:30AM and go on different runs around the neighbourhood. If you are interested in joining, you can come on down any Tuesday or Thursday morning to attend a run!