Together with several relief runners and a dedicated support team of volunteers, Kim Hladun of Canora made the 50-kilometre run from Canora to Yorkton along Hwy No. 9 on November 9 as a fundraiser for PWOS.
Hladun, one of 10 core riders with PWOS (Prairie Women on Snowmobiles) Mission 2020, said she gave the idea some careful thought before deciding to take on the challenge.
“When I mentioned it to my family they were all in with support,” she said. “I like to challenge myself when it comes to running. After completing my two 21k races this fall, I thought why not combine my love for running, and raising money for Breast Cancer research and equipment into a fundraiser for my upcoming ride with Prairie Women on Snowmobiles. It was something that none of the core riders had ever done as a fundraiser before.”
Hladun said prior to the run she had driven the route to Yorkton several times, checking for landmarks at various distances along the way.
“During the run my original goal was to run the first 10K, but as I was coming up to the 10k mark I decided to commit to do the first 20K, so that is what I did,” she said. “At that point I was relieved by my son Skyler and my good friend and race partner Jacky. When Jacky was ready for a break, my daughter-in-law Joy went out to run as a duo with her husband. Everyone went out and ran whatever distance they were comfortable with and we had a signal when we were out there for when we wanted a relief runner. I am grateful for my relief runners as I couldn't have done it without them.”
Hladun said a few other volunteers had made commitments to help out during the day, but unfortunately the flu/colds going around took them out of commission.
“I am thankful for my new running friend Cynthia Wolkowski who reached out when I posted online at the last minute if anyone was available to help with a few km's,” recalled Hladun. “She kept in touch with my husband during the day and met me out on the highway closer to Yorkton to do her part.”
The weather and road conditions were as good as they could have hoped for, said Hladun.
“We couldn't have asked for a nicer day for a 50k run in November. The mild temperatures, with minimal wind and decent footing made it easy to just focus on running without battling any elements,” she reported. “The snow started falling just as we were running in to Save On Foods in Yorkton, so that made for a really nice scene.”
Hladun said the day was a great success, raising approximately $2,500.
“That included donations, the barbecue hosted by Save On Foods and the sale of raffle tickets at the barbecue,” she said. “My goal was to complete the run in five to six hours and we were right on par, arriving at Save On Foods around 2:30 p.m. There were a few friends and my volunteers at Save On Foods to cheer us across the finish line. The barbecue was a success with all the supplies donated by Save On Foods.”
The day was filled with numerous highlights along the road from Canora to Yorkton.
“Along the first few curves heading out of Canora I could see all the tail lights coming on as people were pulling over, sometimes in lineups to make a donation,” recalled Hladun. “The workers on the railroad tracks took time to donate, the highway patrol operator called me over to get his donation in and I got to see the Canora Cobras jackets as I approached two local students. People slow down, rolling down their window and shouting out words of encouragement, the horns honking, seeing my son determined to run a huge portion of the distance, seeing the $100 bill being waved out the window to donate, those were all highlights. When we had to stop at the traffic lights in Yorkton there were people rolling down their windows and handing us money from all directions. That was pretty cool!
“After the run was completed and I got home I messaged all my volunteers to ask if they had any highlights or special memories from the run. I am so glad that I asked as I realized the impact the day had on every one of them out on the road helping me out that day. A few of their responses brought me to tears and will stay with me forever.”
Hladun was pleased to report that her overall fundraising is going well for PWOS Mission 2020. She has submitted the minimum $3,000 required to be raised by each core runner prior to December 1, but there are more opportunities coming up to support the cause.
“I started my Christmas Cash 50/50 draw (squares are $20 each with the prize of $1,000 being drawn when the squares are all sold) and possibly a fundraising supper sometime in the new year. I will have a table at the Trade Show in Canora on November 30 from where I will be selling raffle tickets and a few other breast cancer memorabilia,” Hladun concluded.