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

S.L.A.P. Update

Hamel Assault – fourth leg – 38km

This leg’s net elevation gain is zero; the total elevation change is over 6500ft. It is considered the hardest leg of this race. The ascent of Mount Hamel is two, long, steady climbs with a reprieve at the shoulder of Hamel at mid-point. There are boulders and some deep ruts to watch for in the descent. Coming down is not that technical however this race is run in remote areas and the potential for serious injury is there. All of the Death Racers have to sign a “death waiver.”

Leg 4 Racer: Kim Anderson

I started running September 2004, to prepare for the 2005 Canadian Death Race. I completed 58km of that race; it was the first I had ever attempted. I am considered a novice runner; there is a steep learning curve when you are beginning anything new.

My training this year is not as intense as last year and I’ve focused more on strength training and weights for the first few months of the year. I am now in the process of increasing speed and mileage. For me the speed work is my downfall, I have a slow pace. I actually have more discomfort from running a short tempo run than from running 42 km.

Unlike my team-mates I enjoy distance running. I don’t get bored. I find it very meditative. I do wish, however, that the university would have more lectures and texts available in an MP3 format! It would take the pressure of stretching time to accommodate runs of 4-6 hrs, university study and family life. I could knock off “two birds with one stone”. My motivation for being involved in stopping violence can be summed up with one question. How many people have been touched by violence, either as a witness/victim or abuser?

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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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