Since 2012, Stephanie Kurz has been pushing herself to the limit as she raises money to help eradicate cancer.
That year, she embarked on an annual challenge to support best friend Tegan Carmichael, who had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2010. Tegan, at age 32, passed away Feb. 19 of this year.
Last weekend, Kurz ran 160 kilometres from her former hometown of Parksville to Comox, and back. Escorted by a police cruiser, she was accompanied Saturday evening by a few members of the Comox Valley Roadrunners as she neared Comox Marina Park, where a reception awaited.
“The heat is brutal, but other than that I’m feeling OK,” Kurz said during a break before turning around. “The challenges keep getting harder and harder, apparently. My goal is to finish under 24 hours.”
Last year, the former professional volleyball player ran 100 kilometres from Nanaimo to Port Alberni. Other challenges have included the 200km Ride to Conquer Cancer, the 130k North Shore Triple Crown ride, the Baden-Powell Centennial Trail Run and the Boston Marathon.
Despite Tegan’s diagnosis in 2010, Kurz said her friend “got into biking hardcore,” and wanted to enter the Ride to Conquer Cancer.
“I don’t have her physically, but she’s still with me, I’m sure,” Kurz said.
In her first six years of challenges, she raised nearly $15,000 for the B.C. Cancer Foundation. Last year, she started to support the Terry Fox Foundation, which raises money for cancer research. So far this year, Kurz has raised $8,346.