Sunday, January 05, 2014

The highs and lows of 2013

2013 in many ways was an emotional roller coaster ride. The lows were related to the loss of my nephew, Joseph Sargeant, who was born with a heart defect, and wasn't able to get a donor heart in time to save his life. My brother, John-Paul, and his wife Sabina, did everything a parent could do to help a child born with a condition like this. The team of doctors and nurses at Toronto Sick Kids hospital did a wonderful job keeping Joseph alive, and comfortable, as long as they could, for a period of almost six months. Regional TV news coverage on City TV, and CBC, aired stories on Little Joe's plight and the need for a donor. A large prayer chain across Canada was started for him. I ran 60kms in September to raise support for Sick Kids Foundation wearing a photo of Little Joe pinned to my t-shirt.

The highs of 2013 included rich times spent with family and friends, and reaching some ultra-running goals. Olivia and I took a week long summer holiday to the west coast of Vancouver Island to enjoy the amazing scenery around Port Renfrew, and the Pacific Rim National Park. Finishing the Elk-Beaver 80 km Ultra in May, the 24km mountainous Kusam Klimb in June, and the 60 km, ten loops of the Nanaimo, Westwood Lake Trail in September were memorable achievements of 2013. I was also able to join the Heliset Hale First Nations Marathon Team in one of their stages running the length of Vancouver Island, raising support for suicide awareness (see video below).

It was encouraging this year to attend a college art show featuring some of our son, Andre's work (see below). His talents have improved over the years. He was paid to do some illustrations for a soon to be published children's book.

Entering 2014 I'm thankful that I'm not struggling with any injuries. I've started on a 16-week ultra training plan, hoping to improve on my speed and endurance for the upcoming season. I think I'll have more of a focus on trail running this year, as I seem to enjoy that more than pounding away the hours at the roadside. We'll see how things go.

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