How I learned to stop worrying and love to run

By Peter Ross

As we all know, setting goals can motivate one to do something important. For me, setting sights on the 8K Road Race at the Victoria Marathon as part of Raincoast’s Salmon Run team was an opportunity to get into shape. A simple enough goal, but one that required buying a pair of running shoes and getting out the door before I find something else to do. The first training runs were uninspiring, but gradually I started to feel better. And the better I felt, the faster I ran.

On the day of the event, I waded into the throng of runners of all ages and stages, and realized that this race was not only about competition; it was about community. This was one of Victoria’s finest hours, as thousands flocked to the downtown core in the early hours of a Sunday morning. And 12 charities were the recipients of a multitude of fund raising efforts. Raincoast, of which I am a board member, was one of these.

The interplay between individual goals, the wider community, and Raincoast’s approach to protecting our valued coastal ecosystems, crystallized for me during the run. And while it is “easy” enough to set individual goals once motivated, achieving the conservation goals espoused by Raincoast is a bigger challenge. A challenge, yes, but an invaluable and vitally important thing for us to do. And much easier when the goals of individuals and community come together.

Runners, donors, volunteers and staff all made the marathon an upbeat and successful event for Raincoast. As we move ahead, I have learned that achieving a simple goal can be a transformational event. I wonder if others experienced the same thing?

And while the marathon was fun, outdoors, and energizing for many, I have a sneaking suspicion that British Columbia’s coastal environment will be the net beneficiary of this event.