49 Kyle McNamara
The Scotiabank Charity Challenge connects runners to local charities at running events sponsored by Scotiabank. In 2015, the Challenge helped runners raise over $8 million nationally. Currently integrated into the six Scotiabank races across the country — Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Halifax and Calgary — the game-changing focus is embodied by Kyle McNamara, a marathoner and Scotiabank Executive VP.
“We’ve made a commitment to it, and for me personally, I’m extremely proud to encourage people to get out there and get involved,” says McNamara, after a run. “I’m proud to combine my work life with my personal passion and I’m proud that my work emphasizes being a good community citizen.”
A father of two, McNamara began running after watching his wife Terry complete the Washington Marathon. Now, raising money for several charities including the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, McNamara narrowly missed breaking three hours in the heat of the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon.
“Running keeps me healthy and I enjoy the peace and the thinking time, but I’m also competitive and I want to reach this goal,” says McNamara, who gets his long runs in on the weekend and sometimes augments his workouts with quick treadmill runs after work.
“I just hope he doesn’t break himself,” says his daughter Quinn, a budding rowing enthusiast herself. “He runs every race really hard.”
McNamara is seriously motivated by much more than his finishing time when connecting his work life with his avocation. In addition to setting an example for his children and employees, he finds that running for charity connects him personally to his community. “You’re out there running through these different neighbourhoods and you feel like you’re part of something special,” he says. “You’re making a contribution to the world and that’s important to Scotiabank and that’s important to me — it’s real.”
This year, the Scotiabank Charity Challenge runners will take the fundraising total over the $50-million mark, since its inception in 2003. A proud achievement for the bank. McNamara is likewise confident that he will achieve his ambitious goal of a three-hour marathon.
“As we all know, running on its own makes us feel awesome,” he says, “but when you can combine that with making a difference where you live, it takes the entire experience to a whole new level. The Challenge lets every runner in our races accomplish that.”