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Merville ultra-marathoner generates $5,625 for charities

Runner grateful for overwhelming community support
Jan Kotyk presents Andrea Postal with a $500 cheque to YANA, donated by an onlooker during the 12 Hours of Stairs climb. Photo supplied

Jan Kotyk’s 12 Hours of Stairs event Jan. 9 at Goose Spit raised $5,125 for the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island.

The Merville ultra-marathoner had only hoped to raise $3,000 before he climbed the steep set of stairs that overlooks the ocean at the far end of Comox. He went up and down the equivalent of 1,169 storeys, completing 78 laps of the stairs for a total distance travelled of around 42.7 kilometres. He said the tallest building in the world is 163 floors.

“I climbed that building a little over seven times up and seven times down,” said Kotyk, grateful for the “overwhelming display of support” from friends and family, and from strangers.

The foundation has supported his son Asher, who underwent three open-heart surgeries before the age of two.

“Despite the challenges create by COVID-19, donor contributions and support have enabled the foundation to continue its vital work to support children and families, and the impact of that generosity has been felt in every community up and down and across our islands,” Kotyk said.

He noted that 10,723 children and their families received help to access health care in 2021.

“Your support is so important, and we are so grateful.”

During his climb, an onlooker donated $500 for the Comox Valley charity YANA (You Are Not Alone) — the beneficiary of a previous fundraiser when Kotyk ran 200-plus kilometres in three days.