DEATHRACE: AU Students Run to Help Abused Women – Training Update from Cathy

S.L.A.P. Update

Leg 2 is named Flood & Grande Mountain Slugfest. It is 27 km with a net elevation gain of 500ft and a total elevation change of over 6000ft. It is characterized by long sustained climbing with steep scramble and, just to make it “fun”, a swamp trek. The trail from Flood Mountain to Grande Mountain is the roughest section of the Death Race. This is the most technical section and is rated second hardest, providing the opportunity to summit two mountains:

I have always been pretty active; regularly going to the gym, running, weight training, kickboxing, horseback riding etc. My boss at Eagle Shelter called me one day in March and said “you run every day don’t you?’ I said that I did and she said “Do you want to be part of the Death Race team?” She said one of the runners had to drop out, so I said “ok” and I was part of the team.

Between working full-time, taking care of the home, my two kids and husband, exercising the horses, building fences and everything else that goes with rural living, finding the time to train has been difficult. The Shelter co-coordinator helped out by allowing me an hour a day to train and prepare for the race. With the hope of $100,000 in donations for the Shelter she knew I had to put in the training to succeed.

Apart from a set back involving a painful black toe things have been going well! I run every day, do strength training and various cardiovascular training at the gym (Country Fitness Okotoks). Now that the evenings are longer I have added cycling to my training, which is fun because the kids can join me.

I am looking forward to the race experience — it’s a once in a lifetime thing. I can’t imagine ever doing a distance run again! For me it is too monotonous I like lots of variety in my exercise but it’s fun having a goal, especially one that will benefit so many others.

I hope that once the news spreads about what we are doing and why, we will get lots of people pledging their support. Already the community groups that I have spoken to about our endeavour have been amazingly supportive and incredibly generous. I am truly astounded by the support Eagle Women’s Emergency Shelter receives from the rural communities that we serve and on behalf of our clients we are all extremely thankful.

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We are five normal, everyday ladies, all mums and two grandmothers, in training for this year’s Canadian Death Race, a gruelling endurance race of 125km spanning over 24 hours and covering three mountains in Grande Cache, Alberta.

Why would we put ourselves through this? To raise money for Eagle Women’s Emergency Shelter in the Foothills of Alberta, raise awareness, and help stamp out domestic violence. We have never tried anything like this but feel very strongly that domestic violence is out of control and needs to be addressed. Now.

It’s a frightening fact that almost everyone knows someone who has been a victim of either physical or mental domestic abuse. We believe that increased exposure can help make victims aware that there are numbers they can call for help, and there is no need to suffer any longer. We also feel that domestic abuse and violence is a taboo subject that no one likes to acknowledge and this needs to change. Victims feel humiliated and ashamed and we need to let them know it is ok to talk to someone and to get help.

We are now in full training for the race, and although before this all any of us had ever run was a bath and a temperature, we are determined to do as much as we can to help stop domestic violence. This is a very hard and gruelling race, but with the help and support from each other we hope to complete it and to raise as much money as possible for the shelter. If our hard work only helps one person get out of a frightening situation and gives them the strength to rebuild their life, then it will all have been worth it. Our team name is SLAP – Stop Letting Abuse Prevail. We have a team website with photos and information on each runner and about the shelter: http://www.runforsafety.bravehost.com

We hope you will support us in our quest to stop domestic violence. The race takes place on the August long weekend, beginning Saturday the 5th at 8am and ending Sunday the 6th at 8am. Only 19 weeks to go!!! AU student, mother and death-racer, Kim Anderson.

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