Tuesday, November 30, 2010  
   Volume 80 - Issue 48 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“If I compare the Crowsnest Pass to Fernie ... I don’t think there is sufficient opportunity.”
- Nichole Yanota  
- Local artist   
   

 

 
Crowsnest Pass resident Tracy Wakaluk recently competed in the annual Athens Classic Marathon in Athens, Greece, raising more than $11,000 in support of the Canadian Arthritis Society.
“I wanted to do something special to celebrate my health and give back to the Arthritis Society,” said Wakaluk, who has been living with rheumatoid arthritis since November 2000. “I have seen firsthand how research is helping make advancements in treatments for people living with arthritis.”
In addition, the 39-year-old set a personal goal for herself of crossing the finish line of the 42-kilometre-long road race in under four hours, ultimately squeaking in with a time of 3:59:22.
“The feeling of entering the stadium made all the pain and suffering I went through worth it,” she said. “It was an emotional finish and one that I will forever hold in my own heart.”
The annual marathon is usually held the first week of November, featuring anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 runners, and going from the battlefield in the town of Marathon to Athens Stadium.
The route follows that of the mythical run of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger who, in 490 B.C., ran the length of the course in order to announce the victory of Greece over Persia.
“When I discovered it was the 2500th anniversary since the Battle of Marathon, it was an easy choice to decide on Athens,” said Wakaluk, who participated in her first competitive marathon in 2001.
The course was first utilized competitively in the 1896 Olympics, before the Athens Classic Marathon began in 1972, and being used in the 2004 Olympics.
Beginning at 9 a.m. on October 31, Wakaluk, along with 12, 000 other runners, battled the 25 degree heat, running 10 kilometres before reaching a 21-kilometre-long uphill climb, which ended at the 31 kilometre mark.
“I have never been so happy to see that kilometre sign,” joked Wakaluk.
 
She says what kept her going throughout the course of the run were thoughts of her family and friends who have always stood by her side and who have supported her unconditionally, as well as the words “believe” and “I am strong”, which she wrote on her wrists for motivation.
Work n Play
Tracy Wakaluk
Herald contributor
“Those thoughts filled my mind and kept me putting one foot in front of the other,” she said. “I stayed focused and knew I trained hard and I would endure.”
Wakaluk was one of 109 Canadian runners who helped to raise more than $740,000 for the Arthritis Society during the month of October, and one of 5,000 Joints in Motion participants who have raised nearly $30 million over the last decade.
“A lot of the people who take part in Joints in Motion are either affected by arthritis themselves, or know someone who is,” said Wakaluk. “To be able to share experiences and coping strategies with others while taking on a personal fitness goal is what makes this program so unique.”
She has also competed twice in the Honolulu Marathon for Joints in Motion, and is interested in competing in 2011 marathons in Machu Picchu, Dublin, and China.
“I want to run because I can, and I want to run for those who can’t,” she said.
Wakaluk thanked the numerous friends and local businesses who supported her cause, including Sticky Business, Water Magic, Winds of Change – Sarah Dash Arbuckle, Rock Gear Inc. – Ian and Susan Lowe-Wilde, Sobeys, Frank Slide Liquor, Blairmore Liquore Store, Michael Duarte-Pedrosa, the Bellevue Inn, Bob Nickelson, those who contributed to the Silent Auction Barbecue, and all the individual residents who generously donated, including her family, the Wakaluks, Yancos, Kubiks and Sinclairs.
For more information about Joints in Motion, visit www.jointsinmotion.ca.
To learn more about the The Arthritis Society, go to www.arthritis.ca.
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   Volume 80 - Issue 48 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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