CALGARY ( 660 NEWS ) — According to their slogan, The Million Reasons Run is for the health of every kid in Canada. The Canada-wide online running challenge goes from May 1 through the 31, raising awareness and funds for 13 different children’s health foundations in Canada.
The event is self-guided, with participants setting their own fundraising and running goals. Runners record their mileage on apps like MapMyRun or FitBit, and then upload it to their personal dashboard to keep track of their progress. You can run individually or as a team, and funds will be donated to the charity closest to the fundraiser’s postal code.
Erin McGuire is the associate director of special events with the Sick Kids Foundation in Toronto, Ontario. She’s part of the team that has organized the nationwide event. She says that the money raised will be used for research, at the discretion of the foundation it’s going to.
LISTEN: 660’s Devon Banfield speaks with Erin McGuire of the Sick Kids Foundation
“So it is the highest priority needs of research within each of the children’s hospitals,” McGuire says, adding that they wanted to ensure that the foundations were able to decide what the money was allocated to based on their individual needs.
McGuire says that the event came to fruition after children’s health foundations across Canada saw the need for a nationwide event. They planned on making the format of The Million Reasons Run digital, to include as many people as possible. Then last year when the pandemic hit, organizers realized that the event could still go ahead as planned.
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McGuire says that they’ve made a point of removing barriers to make the run as accessible as possible. It’s free to sign up and take part, and fundraising is optional.
“You really get to call all the shots,” said McGuire. “You set your own kilometer goal, you set your own fundraising goal, and then you go out and do it on your own.”
This is the event’s inaugural year, and they are having a large turnout. Since opening registration on Mar. 1s the run has seen nearly 4,000 people sign up. McGuire says that people have shared many touching stories, explaining why they are running. Also on the event’s website is a list of different children who the various foundations support, so people can get a better idea of who this research is impacting.
“I know we talk about a high level of research,” said McGuire. “But it does allow those designated funds to go to the hospital so they can put it into action right away. It’s about transformative and life-changing research. We know particularly with everything going on in the last year, just how important research is.”
Canadians can register for the event here. With fundraising and kilometer targets remaining adjustable throughout the challenge.