Top 14 Moments of Alive to Strive 2016 (what would you add?)

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Thank you to the 800+ runners and walkers who came out on Sunday, April 24, for our 6th annual Alive to Strive Race. Relive the day with our list of the top 14 moments.

Did we miss your highlight? We’d love to hear your feedback on this year’s event! Email us at alivetostrive@gmail.com.

  1. OVERWHELMING SUPPORT FOR KIDNEY RELATED CHARITIES

Wow! You helped us raise more than $25,000 for our Active Living Grant Program and close to $10,000 for our charities (Kidney Foundation of Canada, Canadian Diabetes Association and the Kidney Research Centre). Did you know? In six years, you’ve helped us raise over $125,000 for our grant program and over $60,000 for charities! 

  1. OUR 5K WHEELCHAIR RACE

We were so excited to include a 5K wheelchair race in this year’s roster of events. Some friendly competition brewed between a few members of a wheelchair rugby team who signed up together. Our participants’ display of determination, strength and stamina were inspiring. The top wheelchair finisher was Patrice with a time of just under 31 minutes; veteran Ottawa race participant, Ruth, finished first overall using her hand cycle.

  1. INSPIRING PERSONAL TESTIMONIES

There’s a reason we’re so passionate about our program – it helps people like Craig, Angie and others in the Ottawa-area stay active and find a community of support. Chronic kidney disease can be very isolating. Your support for our grant program means that we can continue to bring these people together and to educate others on kidney disease — a common but often overlooked condition. Craig, Angie and George (from team Corynne’s Crusaders) each shared personal testimonies of how kidney disease has impacted their lives. It reminded everyone of what our race is about and provided some welcome inspiration at the start line.

  1. THE FRESENIUS MEDICAL CARE 5K RACE

Our most popular event, the 5K, attracted hundreds of participants this year. There was a palpable energy at the start line as the group took off shortly after 10:30 a.m. Our congratulation goes out to Antonio who finished first, just a hair ahead of Jared – both of whom finished under 19 minutes. Katie was our top female finisher with a time of just under 20 minutes. Great job everyone!

  1. OUR 5K TEAM CHALLENGE

A whopping 29 teams raced in this year’s 5K Team Challenge. They always bring a lot of energy to our race (not to mention display their creativity in team names and outfits). The top finishers were first-time team: P.O.B. Speed League.

  1. OUR 10K RACE

Over 100 runners signed up for our 10K course this year. Top place finisher, Matt, cleared it in just under 33 minutes and our top female runner, Jordie, completed her run in 43.5 minutes flat! Thank you to all the runners who signed up. Your level of fitness and ability is motivating.

  1. MASCOTS, CHEER TEAM MEMBERS AND 1K RACE

Ottawa REDBLACKS cheerleaders, Kelly and Monika, and special guests @BigJoeGrandJos and @SparkyFURY, led our 1K group in a special warm up. This is one of our favourite events to watch: so many families and children. We like to call it “organized chaos”!

  1. OUR ENTHUSIATIC 3KG TEAM

Did you catch sight of our 3KG Challenge Team? These “Ottawa celebs” ran the 5K with an extra 3KG strapped to their chests. Why 3KG? That’s the average weight of water retention for a dialysis patient between treatments. It is just a little taste of what life is like for someone living with chronic kidney disease. Always an eye-opening experience, we’ll soon share personal testimonies from some of this year’s team members:

  • Julie Findlay, Blogger
  • Mark Manners, Ottawa Triathlon Club
  • Terry Marcotte, CTV News Ottawa
  • Phil Marsh, Running Room
  • Shelley McLean, Ottawa Hospital Foundation
  • Jenna Mo, JUMP 106.9
  • Noel Paine, Runner, Blogger, Writer
  • Danielle Perron, Kidney Donor
  • Michael Qaqish, Ottawa City Councillor
  • Pamela Tourigny, Kardish Health Food Centre
  • Amal Wahab, LIVE 88.5
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  1. OUR INCREDIBLE VOLUNTEERS

It took close to 200 volunteers to put on the race. Together, they helped ensure everything ran smoothly for our participants. Immediately recognizable in their orange t-shirts, our volunteers were stationed all around the course at water stations, registration desks, barricades and so forth. We say it every year, but we couldn’t put on this event without their help. We are proudly a 100% volunteer-run organization. We are so thankful for our volunteers, many of whom come back year-after-year.

10.  OUR AMAZING SPONSORS

Thanks to the incredible support of our sponsors, 100% of this year’s race registration fees went towards our grant program. The Alive to Strive Race is our only fundraiser. The money we earn allows us to keep going and support people in the Ottawa-area living with chronic kidney disease. Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make this year’s race possible!

11. OUR ACTIVE TWEETERS

We loved engaging with you online leading up to and during race day 2016. Personal perspectives and photos, insights into your experience, anticipation and passion — we valued your tweets and did our best to keep up! On race day alone our tweets hit 13.3K impressions (e.g. the number of times users saw the tweet on Twitter). We hope you stay in touch!

12.  LUNCH, COMMUNITY AND THE VILLAGE

One of the things that sets our race apart is the wonderful kidney-friendly lunch that’s served after the race. This lunch doubles as incentive for families, teams and friends to sit, relax and enjoy some conversation and laughs. We loved seeing all the children running around, people catching up and taking personal photos (including in our branded selfie frame!). The atmosphere was elevated by our village of booths staffed with friendly faces who gave samples (David’s Tea), helped with stretches & massages (Ottawa Sport and Osteopathy, Canadian Strength), and provided information (Ski Patrol, Kidney Foundation, Health Check Booth, Kidney Research Centre and Canadian Diabetes Association).

13. THE GORGEOUS WEATHER!

We lucked out with great running conditions this year. A chilly early morning gave way to a beautiful sunny day. We can’t plan the weather, but if we could, it wouldn’t have been far off from the day’s forecast!

14. THE CHANCE TO DO IT ALL AGAIN NEXT YEAR

We hope you’ll join us next year (and bring some friends) for our 7th Alive to Strive Race on Sunday, April 30, 2017!

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