Achilles St. Patrick's Day Race supports vital community work
This year's virtual challenge set to inspire and motivate the masses
For more than two decades, every March, hundreds of people would descend on downtown Toronto to run or walk their way through the annual sneaker shindig known as the Achilles St. Patrick’s Day Race. A day dedicated to a very special organization — Achilles Canada.
Every year, since its beginnings as a small 5K and as it has grown, it has always sold out. With more than 1,500 participants a year raising money and providing vital funding for an organization that provides an invaluable service in the name of running.
The Achilles St. Patrick's Day Race sells out each year
Achilles Canada is a non-profit organization founded in 1999 with chapters across Canada that provides people with various disabilities an opportunity to receive the physical, psychological, and communal benefits of running.
The organization supports runners just starting as well as those training for half-marathons and marathons. And, funds raised will go to everything from running shoes, to event entry fees and more, and is available to anyone with a disability.
Last year, the Toronto event was one of the first cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and here we are one year later, and once again the organization’s major fundraiser cannot happen the way it traditionally has.
But, the Achilles Canada work must continue, and since the race is the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year, the event is going virtual, and it is hoped that supporters of the race embrace the event and continue to support the worthy cause.
“Our mandate is that we help those with both physical and mental disabilities to stay active through the sport of running, predominantly,” says Brian McLean, of Achilles Canada. “We got cancelled last year, but we managed to support our Achilles athletes in 2020. However, for 2021, we are in for a difficult year so we are going to need all the support that we can get.”
The virtual event invites participants to use the entire month of March as the virtual challenge.
“We'll start on March 1st and run until the 31st,” McLean says. “ The idea is to challenge yourselves to see how often or how many times you can run or walk within the 30 days as well as how many kilometres you would like to accumulate within those 30 days.”
Who will you finish the virtual race alongside?
And, yes, there will be prizes for runners who log the most kilometres. There is also the opportunity to fundraise additional dollars for the organization.
Achilles Canada has developed specialized programs for teens, adults and veterans to get them running. And, we know all too well the benefits that can be had from running. But more than that, it’s something everyone can try or do.
“The reason we concentrate our programs on running is that running is accessible to all,” McLean explains. “Anyone can run or walk. All you need is a good pair of running shoes, just to ensure that you don't suffer an injury. So running is accessible to all.”
Let’s support this very worthy cause by doing what we do best: Getting out there. To register, go to this page.