West Nipissing runners raise money for food bank

·3 min read

Liz Henning and Andrea Bain are lacing up their running shoes for an epic race event this weekend, and to make their race even more meaningful, they are using the event to increase awareness of the West Nipissing Food Bank and raise some funds for it as well.

So far, the two have inspired just under $500 in donations to the food bank. People in the community see their inspiring running posts on social media and send a few dollars to the cause. To donate, e-transfer your contribution to wnfoodbank@gmail.com and add the password “running.”

Henning and Bain seemed destined to be running friends. Henning saw her running by her house one day, and since that first sighting, the two have run together ever since. That was in 2015. In 2020, the two decided to take part in the Ottawa Race Weekend – an annual event attracting runners from around the world.

Because of the pandemic, the race was conducted virtually that year, meaning runners could run the races in their own neighbourhoods. To add some excitement to the event, Henning and Bain decided their running would be a great way to attract attention to a local charity, and they settled on the food bank.

In 2020, many were losing their jobs and suffering financially due to the lock downs, “and we realized how important it is for our community to support that charity.” Food bank use is on the rise, “and I don’t think that things have necessarily got any better in terms of the need for the food bank.”

See: Shelves getting a little bare at West Nipissing’s food bank

“Anyone could end up needing it at any time,” she added, “so we want to support the cause as much as we possibly can.”

So they shall run.

Imagine this. You travel to Ottawa, and on Saturday you run a two-kilometer race. Now that you’re warmed up, you decide to run another five-kilometer race, and to top it all off, you run another 10-kilometer race.

That’s the first day, and this is what Henning and Bain have signed up for.

It’s not over yet, because the very next day, the dashing duo are running a full marathon. So will conclude their epic running weekend in Ottawa.

“It’s physically challenging, but it’s also more of a mental challenge than anything else,” Henning said. “You get to the point where it’s really mind over matter, where you’re just forcing your body to keep going. You’re tired and you just want to stop, but you just keep going.”

Henning’s daughter Sarah is joining the two as well and plans to run in a few races herself. Same with Bain’s daughter Logan, who’s also looking forward to the big event.

Henning and Bain have been training hard these past months – they train every day, but they go harder closer to the race – and feel strong for the event. There’s some concern about the forecasted temperature rise, as they are not accustomed to running through the heat now. Regardless of the weather, the two will run the weekend away and raise some much-needed funds for the food bank.

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca