Karin Kratz crosses the finish line marking the completion of her half-marathon, with friends Joan Gillies (in red) and Heather Blyth there to cheer her on. Photo by Terry Farrell

Karin Kratz crosses the finish line marking the completion of her half-marathon, with friends Joan Gillies (in red) and Heather Blyth there to cheer her on. Photo by Terry Farrell

Comox woman completes half-marathon in support of Spinal Cord Injury BC

For 16 years, Spinal Cord Injury BC (SCI-BC) has been there, supporting Karin Kratz.

This month, she is giving back.

Kratz completed the SCI-BC Scotiabank Charity Challenge half-marathon Monday morning, in a fundraising effort to show her appreciation to the non-profit society.

Kratz started using a wheelchair in 2004. In 2007, she was accepted into GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre in Vancouver, which she notes as a turning point in her life.

“Over the 16 years that I have been learning about wheelchairs, and how to manipulate them, and how to use them, I have always had some kind of support from Spinal Cord Injury BC,” she said. “Over particularly the past 13 years, I have had hundreds of people giving me support.”

Kratz has been reciprocating that support to others in the community for many years. Eleven years ago, she introduced the sport of wheelchair basketball to the Comox Valley.

“When I got out of GF Strong, I was pretty inspired, so I invited BC Wheelchair Sports to bring ‘Have A Go Days’ here, and in February of 2009, I started the Comox Valley Wheelchair Sports Society, and it has been running wheelchair basketball ever since,” she said.

COVID-19 played a part in making Kratz’s latest achievement possible. In previous years, the SCI-BC Scotiabank Charity Challenge has been held in Vancouver, making it impractical for Kratz to participate.

This year, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the SCI-BC Scotiabank Charity Challenge is a virtual event. Participants can complete their challenge wherever they want, in whatever fashion they choose.

“I have always wanted to do a 5k run to support Spinal Cord Injury BC, but going over on the ferry, getting a hotel, I just can’t afford that,” she said. “So this year, because of COVID, they are having a virtual charity run. You can do it all at one time, you can do it in segments, however you want. I looked at it and I thought, ‘Wow, I can do this.’ So that’s what I signed up for.”

There are five-, 10- and 21-kilometre options for the SCI-BC Scotiabank Charity Challenge. Kratz chose the 21 km distance.

She did her half-marathon in four segments: 10 km on June 29; 5 km on July 2; another 5k on July 4; and the final kilometre on July 5.

Kratz said she had a financial target when she first started her fundraising campaign, but has had to increase that target twice.

“People are so kind and open … all kinds of people stepped up and started donating,” she said. “I’m good with the goal I have set now, but it will be surpassed.”

She credits SCI-BC for her positive outlook.

“Spinal Cord Injury BC is there for when you have the sense that there is nothing you can do,” she said. “When you are in the deepest ‘hurt locker’ you can find, they are there. They have peer supporters, they have information, they share exercises, ideas, links, contacts. They have everything to get you the resources and support you need to get on with your life. I am so grateful. I so appreciate everything I have gotten from them.”

Kratz’s fundraising page is still open and accepting donations.

To donate to her ‘team’ go to https://bit.ly/3gCXxrb


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter



Karin Kratz, “chilling” after her 10 km segment. Photo supplied

Karin Kratz, “chilling” after her 10 km segment. Photo supplied

Just Posted

Charles Hawkswell, Commander, of the Cape Lazo Power and Sail Squadron, presents a $1,000 cheque to the Comox Valley Marine Rescue Society. File photo
Comox removing moorage fees, hydro for Comox Valley Marine Rescue Society

Last year, the unit and society responded to more than 50 rescue missions in the past year

A Saanich man received almost 10 years in Supreme Court in Courtenay for a shooting incident from 2018. Record file photo
Shooting incident north of Courtenay nets almost 10-year sentence

Richard Daniel Vigneault was arrested without incident and faced 16 counts

Dr. Aref Tabarsi, a general pathologist at the North Island Hospital Campbell River Hospital Medical Laboratory, spoke about the issue of service in the region at a meeting in February 2020. Black Press file photo
Comox Strathcona hospital board wants pathology service back

UPDATED: Board supports move for chair, vice-chair to engage with Island Health on issue

Danielle Egilson has been awarded a $40,000 post-secondary scholarship with The Cmolik Foundation. Photo supplied
Student from Courtenay’s Vanier Secondary lands prestigious scholarship

Cmolik Foundation provides opportunities for youth who’ve experienced adversity

Poverty is a sad reality for some people in the Comox Valley. Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Project takes a hard look at poverty in the Comox Valley

Objective is to reduce poverty in the Comox Valley by 25 per cent over four years

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read