Jill Davies has much to be thankful for.
This coming Thanksgiving, Davies plans to run 10 or 12 kilometres, with a goal of raising funds for two Parksville Qualicum Beach charity organizations, Forward House and the District 69 Backpack Program.
“I have so much for which to be thankful,” said Davies, who just turned 76 years old and has been running since her younger days in the United Kingdom.
“In essence this includes regaining my health and mobility, the love and support of my family and good friends, the friendship and encouragement from my ORCA family and from many within the Island running community.”
The Oceanside Running Club Association member has set some personal milestones earlier this year but was sidetracked by an unfortunate injury suffered while in March. She underwent surgery and it took her 10 weeks to recuperate and get mobile again. She spent another 18 weeks honing her body to get used to running again. She’s now back on form and training for the Thanksgiving Day challenge that she set out for herself.
Davies is asking donors to sponsor her run with money raised to be shared between Forward House, which provides adults living with mental health challenges with the support and tools they need to enjoy full and independent lives, and the District 69 Backpack Program, which provides a backpack of food on Friday afternoons to help keep children in the community from going hungry at weekends.
Those wishing to donate email firstname.lastname@example.org. To support either of these organisations please use e-transfer and follow the guidelines: Email: email@example.com; Message: Please indicate which organisation you would like to support and for a tax receipt add your mailing name and address. For the question, the name of the running club would be good (ORCA).
Meanwhile ORCA, been a prominent sports group in Parksville Qualicum Beach for more than 20 years and has more than 160 members, will continue to offer a healthy activity this fall and winter despite concerns about COVID-19.
All activities planned will be conducted safely outdoors in just about any weather conditions. Social distancing will be observed.
Davies indicated this is the time when people start to feel isolated due to shorter days, inclement weather, as well as the ongoing pandemic.
ORCA offers not only the chance to stay fit and healthy through running, but also companionship and friendship.
“We provide opportunities to run with others, to train or to get outside and walk through our Saturday club runs and weekly training sessions,” said Davies.
You don’t have to be an experienced runner to join.
“We believe that there are many people who would love to get outside and run who have a perception that all ORCAs are super fit and fast racers,” said Davies.
“This of course is not true. There are a few who are indeed fit and fast and some who even like to race. However the majority of us run for fun.”
The Saturday club meet Davies said is held early in the morning to free up the rest of the weekend and offers runs of varying distance and in addition company for those who prefer to walk. Some even bring their dogs. For information, people can call Davies, or club president Paul Watson at 250-951-9049.