“Aim for the moon and pick up a few stars along the way.” Heart disease only furthered Wes Harding’s commitment to Team Hoyt
THE CAUSE: Team Hoyt Canada has brought the inspirational running legacy of father Dick and his son Rick Hoyt to Canada. Having competed in over 1,100 running events, this father-son duo have changed the face of sport, creating new opportunities for individuals with disabilities to compete in both running and triathlon races. With the goal of ensuring that no person is ever left on the sidelines, Team Hoyt pairs athletes of differing abilities in endurance events. To Team oyt, whether you’re a novice runner or sub three-hour marathoner, they embrace and celebrate anyone and everyone who is willing to try. All athletic riders experience the whole package, from picking up their bib number to crossing the finish line together to receiving a medal. Team Hoyt is the ultimate celebration of community and teamwork. THE RUNNER: From “couch potato” to Ironman in four years, Wes Harding lives by the mantra “anything is possible.” After watching the Hoyt’s Ironman documentary, 40-year-old Harding embarked on a lifelong dream of running the Boston Marathon. Two years into his journey, after suffering a heart attack at the finish line of the YMCA 10K Bridge Run, Harding discovered that he was born with heart valve disease. He continued to run over time to find that the effects of his valve disease have begun to reverse. Today, Wes is the President of Team Hoyt Canada and has run in Boston with the Hoyts for the past five years. “Gather up that courage to make your first step,” he says, “because there is never that perfect moment to begin.”
2015 ISSUE 05
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PHOTO BY MELLEPHOTO
Sarah Jamieson, founder of Moveolution, who runs to bring awareness to mental health, at-risk youth, girl’s leadership and first responder health/ PTSD. When she started 10 years ago, she wanted to raise $1 million. Today, with the support of CARE Canada, Jamieson has surpassed $2 million in her charity runs (and accumulated enough miles with her team to circle the globe— twice!). “It all started with a CARE Canada walk called ‘Walk In Her Shoes,’ then a memorial run for my mom, supporting mental health and domestic violence and grew from there,” Jamieson says. “I’m a middle of the pack runner and I’m cool with that. Daily activity, technology and charitable giving are the next wave of giving back.”
Sky’s the Limit
Robyn Baldwin approaches her Multiple Sclerosis like anything she encounters on a race track— as another obstacle to overcome. Robyn Baldwin is fit, fast and ferocious. When she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) last December, it was Baldwin’s “no excuses” attitude combined with her fighting spirit as an obstacle course racer that made all the difference. “My trainer and I both looked at MS as another obstacle to get over,” explains Baldwin, adding that overall, her diagnosis has helped her become a better athlete, by being increasingly in tune with and aware of her body. ON BEING AWARE: Having connected with marathon and ultra runners diagnosed with MS, Baldwin believes that raising awareness is as important as fundraising. “When someone as healthy as me can have MS, people begin to realize that it can really happen to anyone,” says Baldwin, adding that many people aren’t aware that more Canadians are diagnosed with MS than anywhere else in the world. PERSONAL IMPACT: With Race for the Cure, Baldwin and her Alpha Obstacle Training crew are aiming to raise $10,000 for the MS Society. Along with their race fee, runners are asked to donate $25, the cost of a few coffees, for a week, making it a reasonable amount that will add up. When she was first diagnosed, Baldwin says the MS Society was an incredible source of information, one that she continues to rely on today for support.
iRun because it makes me a better father and husband. — Jason Evans, Newfoundland
2015-07-16 12:35 PM
The magazine for Canada's running community, iRunNation.