COMOX VALLEY EDUCATORS Jen Turner (left) and Beth Reed will run in the New York City Marathon to raise funds for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. They need to raise $8

COMOX VALLEY EDUCATORS Jen Turner (left) and Beth Reed will run in the New York City Marathon to raise funds for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. They need to raise $8

Comox Valley teachers pounding pavement for good cause

Two Comox Valley educators have a month left to prepare themselves for the longest run of their lives.

Two Comox Valley educators have a month left to prepare themselves for the longest run of their lives.

Navigate (Powered by NIDES) vice principal Jen Turner and École Puntledge Park kindergarten teacher Beth Reed will run in the New York City Marathon on Nov. 3. The distance is 26.2 miles, (42.2 kilometres), through the streets of New York City, and, according to Turner, neither woman is marathoner.

“I would say seven kilometres is probably the longest I’d ever run, and Beth, she had done a half-marathon before, but she said it was the hardest thing that she’d ever done,” says Turner.

Reed plays soccer but notes she only started running a few years ago and still has difficulty referring to herself as a ‘runner.’

But, the women have been training since June, and Turner says she can now run 20 kilometres and still have a bit of energy left over, while Reed can run 24 kilometres at this point. Turner plans to run 26 kilometres this weekend as she continues to bump up her distance goals.

“And the other day when I was hill training (my coach Mia Jerritt was) like, ‘I can’t believe that you’re doing this,’ because two years ago I had a back injury and I could barely walk — it hurt to walk. And she’s like, ‘And here you are, running up this hill, making it look easy, and you’re about to run a marathon,'” recalls Turner.

Though Turner admits completing the marathon will be a big accomplishment, the pair are not running simply to say they can do it; they’re running for a cause.

Dubbed The Valley Girls, the two-person team is running to raise money for Team Reeve. Funds raised will go to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation — which helps fund research to find a cure for spinal cord injuries, and improves lives of people with spinal cord injuries via grants, information and advocacy.

They must raise $8,000 for the charity by Oct. 30. Turner notes they are paying for their own travel expenses so every cent raised will go to the Reeve Foundation.

They will soon ask local businesses to donate to their team, and will wear the logos of businesses which donate $100 or more on their running jerseys on marathon day.

École Puntledge Park school staff are holding a raffle selling staff services to parents, and Reed and Turner will also hold a Halloween dance, featuring local rock group XLR8, at the Bridge Lounge on Oct. 25 from 8 p.m. to midnight. Costumes are encouraged, with prizes for best Halloween costume, and best superhero costume in honour of the Christopher Reeve who is known for his acting role of Superman.

Tickets are $20 with all proceeds going to the team fundraising goal. Advance tickets can be picked up at the Bridge Lounge or through Beth Reed at École Puntledge Park School or Jen Turner at Navigate (jen.turner@sd71.bc.ca).

Turner says the idea to run in the marathon started because of the I Can initiative, which empowers students to set goals for themselves and achieve them.

“We brought that language into our classrooms and we saw the power of it, and how it inspired kids to pick goals and meet them and try something new, and we’re their teachers and we should have goals as well.”

Reed adds that she was inspired by a student’s list of I Can goals: Run a marathon, Help people, Save the World.

“At first glance, we assume the innocence of children but when is it that we stop trying to achieve these dreams? I decided it was important for our students to have an adult ‘model’ an I Can goal,” explains Reed, noting a co-worker’s son was in an accident that left him a quadriplegic around this time.

“I knew that I wanted to do something to help and the marathon was the best way I knew how … it’s important to me to raise awareness for the great things the Reeve Foundation does, and do my little part to help.”

Turner has created a blog (www.jenturn.blogspot.ca) to document her journey. For more information, or to donate visit The Valley Girls team page (http://www.christopherreeve.org/faf/search/searchTeamPart.asp?ievent=1075688&lis=0&kntae1075688=93FF3FA5B9414438885336FDAEC6CE11&supId=0&team=5596561&cj=Y).

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A rendering of the Denman Green plans for the Kirk Road site. Image, DHA/Ronan Design
Denman Green finds new site for housing

Facing COVID delays, the project reached expiration date on initial site

A fawn stands in a field. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
MARS hoping to build fawn complex for rehab

Their goal is to raise $20,000 in a relatively short period of time.

Aspen Park in Comox is the latest school reporting a COVID-19 exposure. Screenshot, Google Maps
Fifth Comox Valley school reports COVID-19 exposure

Exposure at Aspen Park in Comox was reported for Feb. 22

Cumberland Brewery is looking to expand its patio space temporarily for the summer. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland Brewery looks for temporary patio expansion

Move would allow business to spread customers outside in summer months

School District 71’s final budget for this school year showed more revenue from distance learning students but less from traditional classroom registration. Record file photo
Comox Valley Schools’ budget grant almost $5.5 million higher than planned

Increase came from a boost in distributed learning rather traditional registration

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

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

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

1957 photo shows Six Mile House-sponsored #4 1932 Ford stock car with Frank Morris (from left), Ted Mackenzie, Bill Sim and driver Gerry Sylvester. (Bud Glover/Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame)
Memories race as Western Speedway approaches its finish line

‘It was life to us:’ Vancouver Island racers, crew will never forget what the track gave them

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Most Read