Running for Food


This past weekend I was able to complete my 8th event this calendar year, the Collingwood Half Marathon.  It was a tough race on me mentally, as I had to deal with cold, raw easterly winds.  There were some very elite runners in this small pack of 245 runners.  The winner was Kenyan, Kennedy Ronoh who completed the 21.1k’s in an astounding 1:11:43.  It was very cool being fairly close to him at the start.  But after 5 minutes he had distanced himself from me so much, that he was pretty much out of sight!  🙂

Picture from Run Collingwood twitter, Kennedy Ronoh in bright green jersey went on to win the Collingwood Marathon.

Image from Run Collingwood twitter, Kennedy Ronoh in bright green, went on to win the Collingwood Half Marathon.

I have a deep admiration for the elite runners.  The discipline, the intensive training required all plays a part.  There is really no shortcuts.  I have always been fascinated by the Kenyans, and other East African countries, and how they often dominate the long distance races.   Then there are the sprinters, and the runners who have West African ancestry who dominate this field.  This article mentions that runners who trace their ancestry to West Africa, including African Americans, hold more than 95% of the top times in sprinting.  A second article from Ghana Web discusses West Africans and Sprinting.

One of the countries in West Africa is called Ghana, and it is my privilege to be running for my 3rd consecutive year at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon for Dekpor School Development Organization, a registered Canadian charity, and a recognised NGO (non governmental organization) within Ghana.  They are a small charity, 100% volunteer driven, and 100% of money raised goes to address the needs in the village of Dekpor, Ghana.

2nd hand shoe drives through my work and Highview Public School have provided a 1st pair of shoes for most children

Second hand shoe drives through my work and Highview and Minesing Public Schools have provided a 1st pair of shoes ever for many children.  Image from Dekpor blog.

In running, proper nutrition is just as important, if not more important than proper training.  If our bodies do not receive adequate food or fuel, our running is not going to amount to much.  With a Gross National Income in Ghana of $1600US, it is indeed a struggle for parents just to feed their children (compare that to Canada, which has a Gross National Income of $51,690US).  This year 100% of all monies raised will go towards a food program for the children.  Forty cents feeds a child 2 nutritious meals a day ($25 feeds one child 62 days).  Nutrition is extremely important for any child’s cognitive abilities, as they go to school.  It is amazing how far our money goes there.

Children provided with a nutritious meal in Dekpor, Ghana. Image via Dekpor Facebook page.

Children provided with a nutritious meal in Dekpor, Ghana. Image via Dekpor Facebook page.

Thank you for taking the time to read.  Who knows, maybe these nutritious meals will be just what is needed for the next Ghanaian national child to rise from obscurity,  and break into the record books.

I am excited to be running in this marathon.  Any race is really unpredictable, anything could happen.  But one thing I know is predictable.  Your donations will make some children very, very happy.

Here is my fundraising link.

No records broke from me in my race...LOL. Just another run race! :)

No records broke from me in my last race.  Do try my very best for each event, but also just run because I enjoy running 🙂

 

Categories: Running, UncategorizedTags: , ,

39 comments

  1. Great job! Too bad the leaves hadn’t turned yet. It would have been nice to run towards the colorful mountains!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Fleck, and thank you so much for stopping by. The mountains would have been absolutely gorgeous, if the leaves had turned. Still quite a pretty setting. This past week there has been some colour change up here, I’m thinking another week before they are in their prime! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So interesting! What a great cause. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. If you can’t enjoy it, it would be quite an unpleasant hobby (see also, why I don’t run – give me a pool any day if I need to exercise!).

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Sarah, thanks so much for reading, and for your valued comment. It is so important to enjoy your hobbies and/or exercise routines. If don’t enjoy or get fulfillment from them, why do them. A very important point you have made.

      Have an absolutely wonderful weekend! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh Carl! Nice job! This is so awesome. 🙂 An amazing cause and wonderful to connect and support children who may begin a love for running and continue to inspire their community. Happy running feet to you!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much Rachel Ann. Your encouragement means so much. It would be neat to visit and volunteer at this village in person sometime, to see firsthand the needs that are there. Shipping items is very cost prohibited, so often volunteers will take with them their 2nd piece of luggage filled with 2nd hand shoes, school supplies etc. The expressions of joy from those shoes look amazing. Often their very 1st pair of shoes. And who knows what that might lead to! 🙂

      Thank you for stopping by to read and share! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Liked by 2 people

      • I had a colleague who visited Africa with her husband and she brought a suitcase of clothing, shoes, and books for children in the village they stayed at. It’s wonderful to be able to help support children. They are the future, and a little can go a long way for any child in our world. 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • This is beautiful Rachael Ann. And it would bring so much joy to those dear children in the village. It would make such a difference in their lives. Bless their hearts so much. Thank you so much for sharing this! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations Carl! And good luck on your fundraising efforts, what a great cause!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Sarah. I really appreciate you taking the time to read about my charity, and for sharing in the comments.

      With all this training both you and I are both doing, it is good that we do run for a cause. It is not about ourselves. Through the money raised, as well as awareness, it is making the lives of others less fortunate better.

      All the best in your fundraising efforts as well! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Like

  6. The second-hand-shoe program is a simple but extremely useful idea. Was it your idea? Whoever thought of it has to be congratulated. I don’t know if you have a recycled spectacles program in Canada – when my reading glasses are upgraded I always send my old ones off so people in third world countries have a chance to be able to read/see. All these things are small for us and massive for others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your wonderful insightful comment. The second-hand-shoe program’s credit would go to another person. The company I work at did do a shoe drive, and we collected around 30 pounds of mostly running shoes. Most of the time these shoe drives will coincide with a volunteer travelling to Ghana. Their second piece of luggage would be filled up with these second-hand shoes. It is much less expensive to ship there that way, and then you also know they will in fact get there. This is so cool, because for most of the children, this is the 1st pair of shoes they have ever owned,

      I have heard of the recycled spectacles, and I do believe the program operates in Canada. Shame on me, I have not used this program. It really would give a people in third world countries the opportunity to see better, an opportunity they would not get otherwise. Agree with you 100%. These little things make a HUGE difference in the lives of others!

      Thank you so much again for sharing! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Like

  7. Sounds like a great charity Carl, best of luck in the upcoming race! It’s funny I too have often wondered about those West Africans who just completely dominate the running world. Must be amazing to actually compete with some. Talk about motivation!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Tricia. The charity is always so appreciative of anything I do for them.

      In the Toronto course, the raced heads west, and at a certain point it loops back east. The elite runners will have distanced themselves, and after the course loops back, these elite runners are coming right towards you, but separated only by pylons in the middle of the road. Their explosive power surging forward towards me was something I do not forget. I’m thinking “there is no way they can keep that pace for 42 kilometers…but they always do. 🙂

      Thank you for reading, and your wonderful comment! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  8. So glad you enjoyed running with a Kenyan, old fellow – even if only for a few visible yards. They have amazing physique, and focus. Have you read the book “Running with Kenyans”? I havent, (I’m no runner) but that book hogs the No.1 spot on amazon genre charts…. sometimes mine creeps up on it in the charts, but only for one brief moment did it take the top spot!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Jane for stopping by. No, I haven’t read the book “Running With Kenyans”. I am all curious now….haha…. that there might be something within those pages that would help me improve my running. Kenyans really do have an amazing physique and focus. 🙂

      Following books on genre charts, to see how they are trending, is something I have never done. But being an author like yourself, I can understand this would be very important. You would want to know how your book that would have taken hundreds and hundreds of hours to write, edit and get published would be faring on the charts. I would be doing the exact same thing! 🙂

      I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment Jane.

      Have a wonderful week! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Great job! And for such a much-needed cause. Great info on the shoe donation. Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Impressive Carl! Thank you for sharing this important cause, truly great awareness and the amount you work on this is inspiring!! Best wishes for the next challenge 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m from Jamaica and I wish I had the same running profile as Usain Bolt but admiring him and all the other sprinters from my country has to suffice.
    Congrats on your 8th event. Keep doing what you’re doing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by Karen. Jamaica has produced SO many ultra fast sprinters over the years. In the 1990’s Canadian Donovan Bailey was the fastest man in the world (since which Usain Bolt has broken). Incredibly Donovan Bailey, also was Jamaican, having emigrated to Canada when he was 13. You must be SO proud of your heritage. I am not Jamaican, but just the same, I really admire those runners as well.

      Thank you for reading, for sharing and for your encouragement! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Liked by 1 person

  12. A wonderful cause Carl. I am from West Africa, Nigeria like you know. Thank you so much for running to help those kids in Ghana.
    God bless you.
    Itofa

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I applaud you for your support of such an important cause!! Keep after it!! Thanks for sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This is so great Carl 🙂 Surrounded by slums, I see how important causes like these are. All the very best 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. 8 events this year already?  that’s incredible.  I’m only on 4 and I feel like I need to take a break till next year.  its a privilege to run alongside those Kenyan and Ethiopian runners.  so fascinating how efficient they are… and how quiet they run (its like they never touch the ground, they just float).  its so hard to fathom what life is like outside of our little bubble in North America.  It’s awesome you’re taking the time to support this charity.  truly inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Jordon. Different distances though. I just like the swag…haha! 🙂 The half marathon in this post was my 4th, also did a 25k trail run, a 30k and 2 x 10k’s this year. Last Sunday’s marathon was my only full. Can definitely feel the toll on the body a lot more with the full marathon over the others.

      It was so amazing with the Toronto marathon, with the top 10 finishers 7 were from Kenya (including the top 4), 1 Ethiopian, 1 Peruvian, and the lone Canadian, Eric Gillis came in 7th (two and a half minutes behind the winner). It does not seem like a lot, but to make up that time I imagine would be pretty much insurmountable. The course loops back and the lead runners are running right toward you, only separated by pylons. You describe it so well. The East Africans run so incredibly quiet. I was an hour and a forty minutes behind the winner, definitely not a contender. 🙂

      I was glad to be able to run, do my best, finish and raise some funds for my charity.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to drop by, read, and share your very kind comment. I really appreciate it! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Like

  16. Hi! I found you through another blogger, and I love that you’re bringing awareness to this cause. It’s not something I would have known about without reading your blog. I look forward to following along as your adventures continue!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is really cool and wonderful. Always love the new connections. And I absolutely LOVE the name of your blog! 🙂 I really appreciate your follow, and stopping by to read and comment about my charity.

      Thank you so very much. Will be dropping by your blog now! 🙂

      ~Carl~

      Like

  17. Sweet pictures and interesting thoughts and stats about this race and running. Years ago I went to Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe for 5-6 weeks. Loved it. Hope to visit again one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing this Karen. It is a dream to one day visit Africa. Such a vast, diverse continent. And to visit for 5-6 weeks within Kenya and Zimbabwe would allow the time to adjust to the pace and rhythm there.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and share. Have a wonderful day! 🙂

      Like

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