Runner Jacquelyn Janzen stands under the Port Hardy sign before setting off on the first leg of her Island-long run Thursday.

Runner Jacquelyn Janzen stands under the Port Hardy sign before setting off on the first leg of her Island-long run Thursday.

Runner starts Island-long trek for a cause

Black Creek's Jacquelyn Janzen set off from Port Hardy last week on the first leg of a planned 12 marathons in 17 days.

PORT HARDY—Black Creek’s Jacquelyn Janzen loves a challenge, it seems.

The runner set off from Port Hardy last week, bound for Port McNeill on the first leg of a planned 12 marathons in 17 days.

So it was no surprise that she started with an uphill climb, leaving Carrot Park Thursday Morning and disappearing from view in short order.

“It’s 8:27,” she remarked as she shook out her legs ahead of the run.

“Feeling nervous?”

“I just want to get going,” she replied.

It’s just that attitude that has seen the VIU student shake off injury and put in 500 kilometres-per-month training routines to prepare for the journey.

Accompanied by parents Glenn and Sharon in a support vehicle, Jacquelyn will put in 42.2 km — the traditional 26.2 mile marathon distance — per day, taking a well-earned rest every third day.

As she explained on her blog, the run is in support of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and the Lupus Society, and loved ones affected by the conditions.

“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.”

Jacquelyn’s progress can be tracked on her website, www.embracetherace2014.com.

Donations can be made online through the same site, and supporters are invited to join Janzen for a portion of the run.