Chris Uszynski runs for heroes – and you can too.
If you’re looking to run a fun event for a great cause, consider the World Alzheimer’s Day Run for Heroes Marathon – a 5K, 10K, half marathon or marathon in Amherstburg, ON, with a unique twist – it’s billed as the “Official Run for the Battle of 1812 Bicentennial Celebrations.”
As the name suggests, the race is a fundraiser for the Caregiver Support Programs at the Alzheimer Society of Windsor and Essex County, and was founded by local resident Uszynki who has watched his parents’ struggle with Alzheimer’s. His father has had the disease for over 21 years, and his mother was the primary caregiver for 19 of them. “She is my Hero and the World Alzheimer’s Day Run is a salute to my Mom and all the caregivers that work non-stop no matter how they feel or how tired they are to care for and protect their loved one” explains Uszynski.
Prior to the 2011 event, Uszynski organized the World Alzheimer’s Day Run UltraMarathon – beginning at 65km in 2007 and growing to 100K by 2010 and attracting 250 runners. Then a decision was made to make the run more accessible to attract greater numbers, leading to last year’s event in Amherstburg. Since 2007, the events have raised over $100,000, and they’re hoping that this year will be record-breaking.
Dubbed as Canada’s southern-most Boston Qualifier, the route promises to be flat – so flat that the website is www.runningflat.com, and there’s a “We are so flat….” joke contest on the facebook page! According to organizers, 51% of runners ran a personal best in last year’s inaugural event.
This year’s run is extra-special, since it celebrates two hundred years of friendship and peace between Canada and the United States. The route passes through historic Fort Malden, there will be battle re-enactments, and when you register, you will be asked to declare yourself a Red Coat or a Blue Coat. Every finisher receives a medal that commemorates the Bicentennial.