The Yearly Run

As I slip on my shoes and head out for a jog, I am struck by the changing colours and crisp smell in the air. It’s hard to believe that fall is here already and the Victoria Marathon is fast approaching. The training program I downloaded from the marathon’s website began in June. After weeks of diligently ticking off the daily workouts I’ve finally turned the last page and look forward to the effort paying off!

This will be my second year running as part of Raincoast’s Salmon Team. Last year, Raincoast’s runners participated in the 8k, half marathon or full marathon events and raised $8000 towards Raincoast’s kids programs. We are very grateful to everyone who supported the Salmon Team last year.

In 2010 I had a lot of fun in the Victoria marathon and I look forward to running in it again! Friends and family on the course cheered me on and took my mind off my aching legs! Photo by Jim Bryan.

These donations went a long way—literally. They helped bring Raincoast’s research vessel “Achiever” to a week-long summer camp on the shores of Koeye River in Heiltsuk Territoryon the central coast of BC. There, kids conducted simulated research transects aboard “Achiever.” During the transects, kids standing on the observer platform would call their observations of humpback whales, other marine mammals and seabirds to data recorders in the pilot house below.

The campers also performed a bottle drop where they launched bottles containing messages into the water. The messages requested bottle receivers to call or log into the Institute for Ocean Sciences website in an effort to monitor ocean currents. Campers included their own messages in the bottles—words and drawings of hope for a changing ocean.

Campers from Koeye River launch bottles from aboard Raincoast's Research Vessel 'Achiever'. The bottles will provide data on ocean currents and contain messages of hope for a changing ocean. Photo by Kyle Artelle.

While some campers were on the boat, other Raincoasters led games and activities on land, covering topics such as ecology, predation and conservation. One of the activities included a simulated oil tanker spill where the campers had to rescue wildlife and plants. For a more detailed description, please visit Chris Darimont’s blog for Let’s Talk Science.

Some of last year’s funding also enabled Raincoasters to take part in Bella Bella CommunitySchool’s Discovery Week. There and in collaboration with another outreach organization, Let’s Talk Science, we led activities on ecology, animal adaptations, carnivore research and chemistry of local foods.

Inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of these young people who are future stewards of their traditional lands, this year Raincoast’s Team is raring to run. We have a lofty fundraising goal of $15,000 and are currently accepting donations through Canada Helps. Alternatively, I have made a personal giving page where I am collecting pledges. If you would like to participate in the event or help with Raincoast’s cheering station, please click here.

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