More than 800 participants came out to help celebrate the Alive to Strive Kidney Fitness Project’s 5th anniversary race this past Sunday, April 26, 2015. Despite the morning chill, these brave individuals showed up ready to run or walk, and to show their support for those living with chronic kidney disease in Ottawa and the surrounding areas. Whether new or returning faces, we are incredibly grateful for everyone’s involvement and are proud to announce that with your help, we have raised $30,000 for the Alive to Strive Active Living Grant program and over $15,000 for three charities we support (Kidney Foundation of Canada, Canadian Diabetes Association and Kidney Research Center). Alive to Strive has now raised over $100,000 for its active living grant program and over $50,000 for charities in the last 5 years! Thank you to our sponsors, volunteers and participants for your continuous support!
RACE DAY 2015
Sunday morning wasn’t especially sunny, but the grey sky was more than offset by the happy and smiling individuals who showed up at Hog’s Back Park and the Terry Fox Athletic Facility to walk or run an event, or just to cheer on a friend or family member.
The 10 km race kicked off the day’s activities, followed closely by the 5 km individual and team events. As runners set their watches and took off down Hog’s Back Road, the heartfelt sentiments of our 2015 race ambassadors were fresh in their minds. Kim Aziz and Marie-Eve Bisson, the 2015 race ambassadors, and Suzanne MacLean, the top fundraiser from the 2014 race, each gave a short speech on what Alive to Strive means to them and the ways in which kidney disease has affected their lives. They offered great motivation for both new and returning runners. (Runners: You can check your time on the QuidChrono website).
One of the teams taking part in the 5 km team event was specially comprised of Melanie Adams from 1310News; David Schellenberg from Live 88.5 FM; Delaney Holley, Miss Intercontinental Canada 2014; David Witiluk, a registered kinesiologist at Ottawa Osteopathy & Sports Therapy; Susan Leslie, a home dialysis nurse at The Ottawa Hospital; Natalie Kahalé, television host of Nat en Parle!; Lionel Bedard, a teacher at South Carleton High School; John Armit, member of the Ontario Provincial Police; and Chris Kennedy, a senior scientist with the Chronic Disease Program and Kidney Research Centre at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. These remarkable individuals accepted our 3kg challenge to wear 3kg (6.6lbs) vests while running the 5 km course to help raise awareness of kidney disease. These vests represent the average amount of weight dialysis patients usually gain between treatments due to water retention. The 9 participants were all excited to complete the challenge and to get a sense of what dialysis patients endure on a daily basis. We are thankful that they willingly accepted this task, though we expect they might have been a bit sore afterwards!
Later in the morning, the Ottawa Red Blacks’ cheerleaders and Shuéme, the FIFA Women’s World Cup mascot, led the 1km walkers and runners in a special warm up before they set off. It was nice to see so many families and children take part! We’d like to thank FIFA for not only donating the prizes for the top 3 finishers in the 1km event, but also for giving Alive to Strive one of their 100 Mini Match Balls to hide at the race. These balls are being hidden all around the city to count down the days until the FIFA Women’s World Cup begins this June. After tweeting numerous hints from our @alive_to_strive account, we thought we might have hidden it too well, but a little girl named Ava found it after our last clue!
In keeping with the soccer theme, Roberto Di Nuzzo also brought his soccer ball to the event and wowed the crowd with his amazing tricks and soccer drills. (Either he is really good with balance and coordination or he had magnets hidden all over his body!)
In the early afternoon, after the race events had wrapped up, the atmosphere was still buzzing with participants checking their times and congratulating those who had achieved a personal best — all while enjoying a delicious cup of “kidney-friendly” beef or vegetable stew made with organic produce!
SUPPORTING KIDNEY CHARITIES
Participants’ support of Alive to Strive, either from race registration and/or fundraising efforts, helps to fund grants that encourage those with chronic kidney disease to get moving and remain active. The race also facilitates donations to our three event charities: The Kidney Foundation of Canada, The Canadian Diabetes Association and The Kidney Research Centre.
In 2015, thanks to the overwhelming support of participants, Alive to Strive raised $30,000 for the Active Living grant program; helping individuals living with chronic kidney disease the Ottawa area become and stay active. Furthermore, $4,123.92 in donations was raised for The Kidney Foundation of Canada (Eastern Ontario Patient Care Program), $771 for The Canadian Diabetes Association and a whopping $16,967 for The Kidney Research Centre, in partnership with The Ottawa Hospital Foundation..
We are extremely grateful to everyone for their support and would like to extend our sincere thanks to all of this year’s participants for equipping us to continue positively impacting lives all year long!
SPONSORS AND VOLUNTEERS
This year’s race would not have functioned without our dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers who registered participants, answered questions, cheered runners on, guarded barricades and served lunch, to name a few roles. We wish to thank you all for your commitment to help, even with the looming threat of rain. We hope to see you back next year!
Finally, the race also would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors. We want to offer a heartfelt thanks to our Gold sponsors: Fresenius Medical Care and Alexion Pharmaceutical; our Silver sponsor: Janssen; our Bronze sponsors: Collins Barrow Chartered Accountant, AMGEN, BAXTER, Bellco, Sanofi, BMO Harris Private Banking, CIBC Wood Gundy (Ray Dubeau Investment Advisor), Culligan, Dymech Engineering Inc, iTag Promo, MMM Group, Ottawa Osteopathy & Sports Therapy, Renaissance Investments, Running Room, Sentry, SURE Print and Graphics (Orleans) and Whole Foods Market; and our Iron sponsors: KPMG, Ottawa Sportspage, Preston Hardware, Pro Physio & Sport Medicine Centres, Team JaJa Residential and Commercial Real Estate Sales, The Co-operators and Vélofix.
SAVE THE DATE
The 2015 Alive to Strive Race was a smashing success and we look forward to seeing everyone (and even more of their friends!) at next year’s 6th annual event on Sunday, April 24, 2016!