A handful of Muskoka residents were among the approximately 22,000 people who showed up for an annual 10-kilometre race to benefit a local camp for children with cancer.
RUNNING FOR A GOOD CAUSE.
Muskoka runners Christine Cousins, Kathleen Mason, Linda Montgomery and Joanne Williams (from left) were among a handful of locals who ran in the annual Run for Camp Oochigeas race in Toronto on May 13. Located in Muskoka, the camp helps approximately 800 children affected by cancer each year.
Held on May 13 in Toronto, the 15th annual Run for Camp Oochigeas raised over $1.9 million. Fighting their way through city streets were at least 20 local residents, who made the two-hour trip down from cottage country to try their legs against runners from across the province.
Driving Bracebridge runner Christine Cousins along the run was the memory of several people in her family who have been affected by the debilitating disease.
“I lost my father-in-law on my 40th birthday to cancer,” she said. “There’s two uncles that were taken by cancer and there’s two more people that are sick with it. It’s a huge thing and it affects everybody in some way or another. It’s not very difficult to find three degrees of separation between you and someone who has been touched by it.”
Running alongside Cousins was friend Kathleen Mason.
“It was great, you could feel the powerful energy from the crowd with so many athletes there,” she said.
“The number of people was so overwhelming, there were people cheering us on, holding up signs. As I’m running I’m thinking wow, all these people have been touched by cancer.”
Enormous amount of participation
Despite being veteran runners with several races under their belts, Mason said the pair were flabbergasted when the saw the enormous amount of participation the race had garnered this year.
“We were trying to keep a positive headspace. With so many people, you could hardly hear your own pace watch,” she said.
Runners in the race support the camp by paying an entry fee, but can fundraise for the camp as well. The camp helps about 800 children affected by cancer each year at no cost to their families through its Muskoka location, SickKids Hospital, and the camp’s facility in downtown Toronto.