Hello kind krafters! I hope you’re all doing well, and for those of you close to me here in Halifax, enjoying the (finally) warm and sunny weather! In my last post I shared my experience solo camping in the Highlands. However, I failed to mention anything about what I was doing the day before heading off on this adventure.
On Saturday May 20th, before driving to Cape Breton for three days, I ran the 5km in the Bluenose Marathon as part of the Green Avengers Team for the Ecology Action Centre. This was my second year as a Green Avenger, and running with the EAC continues to be one of my most rewarding volunteer experiences.
The Ecology Action Centre is an environmental non-for-profit organization in Halifax that has been working to build a healthier, more sustainable world both locally and in Nova Scotia, Canada on a regional and national level. The EAC is an inspiring organization whose ability to effectively promote, educate and enact change in my hometown has been a constant source of inspiration. As a result, as I’ve become more environmentally conscious, and shifted my studies towards Sustainability, my volunteer work has similarly gravitated towards working with the EAC.
I first became involved with the EAC after walking by one of their tables at a local MEC race at Point Pleasant Park in Halifax. The table was educating runners about the role of the EAC and recruiting individuals who would be interested in running as part of the EAC’s team in the annual springtime Bluenose Marathon. I’ve always loved a challenge, and had an interest in running but still needed a push to actually begin a training plan and sign up for a race. The Green Avengers team offered exactly that.
As a member of the Green Avengers, I committed to obtaining 16 pledges to support my race. The pledges were donations of any amount in support of my race, with 100% of the funds raised going to the amazing work at the EAC. When I started last year I gave myself a modest $300 goal, focusing on getting 16 pledges and training for the first time as best as I could through a cold winter and wisdom teeth surgery. To my surprise, I hit 16 pledges and $300 just before the race, which I then ran in 34 minutes.
Post Bluenose 2016, my first ever race and running experience.
My first experience running lead to a summer filled with 10 other races, ranging for 5kms to 10kms, all the way up to a half-marathon, days after my 21st birthday. I then took a few months off, and running was far from my mind as school, work and volunteer commitments took up most of my time.
In January the Green Avengers came on my radar once again, this time I would run the race and work with the team as a Captain, supporting my own small group of Green Avengers towards their fundraising goals and race day. This experience was new and challenging. My own busy schedule, coupled with that of my teammates, meant we didn’t get to communicate as much as I would have liked. As a new experience it also required me to find a new role as a leader, something I was unaccustomed to in a volunteer capacity. Despite the challenges, being a Team Captain was a great experience, felt most profoundly when on race day I got to congratulate and cheer on the Green Avengers I had watched fundraise and emailed support to over the past four months.
As for my own race and fundraising, this year was definitely different from last. To start, I wanted to run this race fast, but a crazy school, work, and volunteer schedule left me little time to train, especially once internship mapping began. Initially disappointed, I decided to instead shift my energy towards training when I had a few spare minutes, and fundraising as much as I could for a cause I was passionate about. Working hard to get donations through every connection I could think of, I surprised myself immensely in tripling my raised funds from last year’s amount, finishing on race day with over $900 in donations. To top it off, I showed up on race day telling myself I would be proud just to finish no matter the time given my lack of ability to adequately train. I ended up running two minutes faster than last year, finishing with a time of just over 32 minutes. Who would have thought! Really kind krafters you can do amazing things when you’re passionate.
My face of exhaustion after finishing the 2017 Bluenose Marathon