PORT HARDY—For most of us, running a marathon would be the ultimate test of fitness; perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime feat.
But not for Jacquelyn Janzen.
The Black Creek woman will run the equivalent of 12 marathons in just 17 days when she departs Port Hardy next Thursday, July 31, aiming to arrive in Victoria August 16.
“In the past two years running has become a passion of mine, and I want this passion to have a purpose,” Janzen explained on her blog. “I’m choosing to run the length of Vancouver Island to encourage two people I love and the organizations that support them. My dad was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) twelve years ago, and a good friend with Lupus last year. I have seen in many ways how these diseases affect their everyday lives.”
Janzen is a relative newcomer to running, completing her first marathon in Victoria last spring after taking up running to help relieve the stress of university. That race cemented her love of running and sparked the idea of the Island-long challenge.
In order to complete the journey within the time frame, Janzen will have to complete 42.2km — the distance of a standard marathon — on each of the 12 scheduled running days. She plans to run back-to-back marathons and rest every third day along the journey.
“In order to do this 12 times in 17 days it is important that I pace myself, which means I walk as well as run,” she explained. “My ‘formula’ is that I run for four minutes, and then walk for a minute. And I do this over, and over, and over again.”
Along the way Janzen hopes to raise money and awareness for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and the Lupus Society.
Donations can be made online through www.embracetherace2014.com, which also hosts the runner’s blog, and supporters are invited to join Janzen for a portion of the run. “If you register for a day you’re more than welcome to take a break and ride in the follow vehicle, or only run for a portion (10, 15, 20, 30km) of the day… whatever you feel comfortable with. I’d love to have you join me. Running with people during this event is going to be so encouraging and motivating for me.”
Janzen will leave from Port Hardy’s Carrot Park at 8:30 a.m. on July 31 en route to Port McNeill for the first leg of her journey.