Above, Maggie Graydon takes top spot in the 10 k portion of the second annual Athletes In Kind OktoberFAST event in Pitt Meadows on Sunday.

Running for a cause with OctoberFAST

Athletes In Kind host second annual run supporting families who have children with cancer

October is off and running after more than 120 people took part in the second annual Athletes In Kind OktoberFAST run in Pitt Meadows on Sunday.

Sunny skies made a welcome appearance as the event looked to top last year’s total $12,125, said event co-organizer Eric Muller.

“We’ve had tremendous support for the community for the past 10 years,” said Muller. “We couldn’t pull this any of this off if it weren’t for all the volunteers and sponsors.”

There were 124 runners as part of the five kilometre, 10 km and kids fun run as part of the event.

For the past decade AIK has hosted annual events, where all of the money raised is donated directly to families experiencing childhood cancer.

To date AIK has raised more than $181,000 for the B.C. Childhood Cancer Parents Association. Muller’s wife Laurie started AIK in 2005. She had already lost her mother to cancer, and while working as a paramedic, she saw first hand families with children diagnosed with cancer struggling, both emotionally and financially.

Muller said she decided something had to be done, so she combined her love of sport with the idea of giving back to the community.

Muller said they’ve raised more than $3,800 online for this year’s event, a big jump from previous years.

This year’s top fundraiser was Ashlene Hutton, who raised $1,875.

AIK had traditionally hosted a Canada Day run, however, they decided to move event last year to the first Sunday in October in hopes of generating more interest. Muller said Mother Nature did her part for the event.

“We would have run in the rain, but it’s always nice to get sunny skies.”

Sonia Ursu and her family and friends decided to support the event this year. Ursa was running in the kids fun with her son Evan while her husband Mike stayed behind with Hannah, who is nursing a broken arm.

She said she thinks it’s important for her children to see their family actively involved in supporting community events.

“It’s kids helping kids,” she said.

Evan Querengesser of Pitt Meadows had the top time in the 10 km event, finishing in 38 minutes and 50 seconds. Maggie Graydon of Pitt Meadows was the top female 10 km finisher with a time of 44:37.

Sean Graydon of Pitt Meadows was the top male 5 km finisher with a time of 19:08. Tori Bandringa rounded out the Pitt Meadows sweep as the top female in the 5 km with a time of 21:54.

• For complete results go to www.sportstats.ca.


(Tim Fitzgerald/THE NEWS) Lisa Smith celebrates with some high-fives as she crosses the finish line at the AIK OctoberFast fundraiser in Pitt Meadows on Sunday, Oct. 1.