DEATHRACE: Sean Rutledge Update

S.L.A.P. Update

New Leg 1 Runner – Sean

Heather, the runner set to run Leg 1 for slap, had to withdraw due to an arm injury. Sean has stepped in to take her place.

Wow, I can’t believe I am doing this! I first heard of the Canadian Death Race a year ago from a colleague who ran the entire event himself. At the time, it was shocking to hear his story. It sounded like an act of pure self torture and while I was a runner and in pretty good shape, it was nonetheless difficult to fathom 125 km across mountain terrain. I pretty much dismissed it as something I would NEVER do! But here I am two years later, getting prepared to run the first leg (Downtown Jaunt) of the Death Race. It’s actually pretty incredible because I have been looking for an excuse to enter more athletic events and now the opportunity is here. I hope this will inspire me to pursue other adventures. Ultimately I’d love to do some triathlons, as my current training consists of running, swimming and cycling, although I definitely find myself running the most of the three. We’ll see what the future has in store.

I have been fairly active most of my life. In high-school I ran cross-country races and was a competitive swimmer. During summers in university I was a lifeguard at the pool in Consort where I grew up. But after finishing two degrees and joining the workforce, I found little time to exercise as routinely as I had until about a year and a half ago when I realized I needed to get active again. It took awhile, but now my regular routine is running (lots of running), swimming (quite a bit) and cycling (I’d like to do more if I had the time). On the days I run, I also try to do some weights.

I have to agree with my team-mate Kim that running is very meditative. I like the idea that while you’re jogging, nothing else in the world really seems to matter. You’re completely free for that one or two hours or however long you’re out. I find this especially true since my recent purchase of an iPOD! On the other hand, sprinting can be a lot of fun too. I sometimes run during my lunch hour at work, and because of the time constraint, I try to run as far as possible in 30 minutes instead of doing long distance. Right now my best is four miles. Speaking of work, I have been with Haworth (formerly known as SMED) for two years in the area of Technical Marketing and Communication. Haworth markets office furniture and architectural interior solutions. I live in Calgary with my girlfriend Jen and two pets; our dog Choco and our cat Nikita. It is because of Jen working at the Boys and Girls Club of Diamond Valley & District that I have been given the opportunity to be in the Death Race and I am thankful to her for that.

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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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