Boogie puts program into gear

It fits like a foot in a running shoe.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kamloops is the charity of choice for this year's Daily News Boogie.

The group signed on with Boogie for the first time last year, giving it the money to start a program that matches active "bigs" with active "littles."

"Big Brothers Big Sisters is all about one-to-one mentors," said the charity's executive director, Terri Axani. "In trying to recruit male members, it opened the door."

The sports mentorship program is the first of its kind in B.C. Rather than the full commitment of a typical big brother-little brother pairing, it brings together littles needing a mentor in their lives with a big brother or sister for a sports-oriented pairing.

So far those matches have included snowboarding and soccer, Kamloops Blazers' games and biking.

"They (mentors) wouldn't have walked in under the guise of a traditional program," Axani said.

The goal this year is to continue the program, particularly fitting because, like Boogie, it's about being active.

Axani said she has been a Boogie participant "from Day 1."

"It's a community movement and very well aligned with Big Brothers Big Sisters' values," she said.

While Axani is an avowed participant, this year she will be one of 200 volunteers the organization is expected to provide for the event, April 28.

"We're getting the word out there," she said of the challenge of coming up with that many volunteers. "We're looking for volunteers."


Deep breath . . . inhale, exhale, focus, relax . . . here we go.

I had foot surgery in late January, so I am starting this running season from a new perspective. For the first time in my running life, I am unsure, nervous, worried.

A Morton's neuroma is a nasty little piece of running inconvenience that I am very glad I had removed from my foot.

Foot surgery was my last ditch effort. Over the past nine years, I have tried wider shoes, acupuncture, orthotics, cortisone injections, resting, ice, and reducing my running by switching to triathlon training. All offered minimal relief from pain. The surgery has an 85 per cent success rate; my hesitancy is I'll be one of the 15 per cent.

I love to run. I consider myself to be a runner - always have, and always will. I enjoy the benefits running brings: fitness, stress release, meeting people, finding new trails, and of course positive events that are attended by happy people pursuing their goals. The Daily News Boogie is one of those events.

Over the next weeks, I will be reporting my "trails" and tribulations on my quest to complete the 21K half marathon for Boogie. I hope as I share my journey, I can provide some guidance in areas I've become more knowledgeable as a runner, like scheduling, training support, injury prevention and running gear.

Fingers crossed the surgery was successful and I will be able to return to the joy of pain-free running.


There are several things I get excited about at this time of year after a seemingly long winter.

Daylight savings time just started, the days are getting longer and you know spring is around the corner when you see in the newspaper Jo Berry's training recommendations for The Daily News Boogie.

My training started some time back, but I have now entered into a routine aiming toward the 10K for the Boogie.

I ran with friends last Saturday morning and took a three-hour walk with my wife Bonnie on beautiful Sunday.

On Monday, I ran 45 minutes along Schubert Drive pushing a stroller with our princess, granddaughter Amberly, who is 20 months old.

It is so encouraging to see people young and not so young walking, running, rollerblading and biking along Schubert every time we go there.

Another day, we did 35 minutes on our rowing machine.

We also do light weights for the upper body twice a week. We have found over the last couple of years that you need to keep strengthening the upper parts of the body. So I was glad it was an inside day as the snowfall Tuesday morning was a surprise.

Before getting into our exercise, we do a warm-up and a cool-down that was given to us by Greg Kozoris, which has been beneficial.

Wednesday is another run day.

We are also training to walk the El Camino Pilgrim Walk across Northern Spain this July, which is 780 km.


As it was my initial goal to run 10K for my first Daily News Boogie, I rounded up a co-worker who was also interested in participating and we started pre-RunClub training back in February.

I knew I would definitely need more than eight weeks of training to complete a 10K, and starting out gentle is the recommended course of action to prevent injury.

Within the first few sessions out on our own, I realized that a 10K was a lofty goal for a "newb."

Those first few runs went great and even though my muscles were stiff the next day, I wasn't discouraged. I want to acknowledge my running partner Kris; her encouragement and enthusiasm keeps me on track.

With blurry tired eyes from a friend's birthday celebration the night before and that darn daylight savings time, I arrived to the first RUNClub training feeling excited and nervous about what to expect.

Looking around at my fellow newbs, it seems to me they were feeling the same.

As introductions and stories from the RUNClub coaches and Boogie team about what brings them out each year were shared, my nervousness was eased and replaced with the empowerment of "let's do this!"

The first run with the RUNClub group had a perfect pace of walk/run intervals, but my favourite part is that no one is left behind. With those two simple words of "pick up," you know that you're still a part of the group and are exactly where you should be.

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