The Bluenose run is just 15 days, 14 hours, and 13 minutes away! The Love4Gambia team is growing quickly, and I would like to introduce a new runner from the team every couple of days leading up to the race. This is a great way to learn about who is running, and why they have decided to run for team Love4Gambia.
Today, I asked Rachel Avery (RA), 16 years old, some questions about running, the Nova Scotia-Gambia Association, and what these both mean to her. I found her story and reasons for running quite motivating and inspiring!
JP: How did you learn about the NSGA?
RA: As a member of the Bedford United Church, I learned about the NSGA at a young age. This March, I was lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to travel to The Gambia in a group named Benno, along with 20 other people, to witness the work that the NSGA does, specifically through Peer Health Educators.
JP: How long have you been a runner?
Rachel in The Gambia
RA: I don’t really classify myself as a runner. However I have been playing soccer for many years, and while in elementary school, I used to run with the running club, and participated in the Youth Run for the Bluenose a couple of times. So, although I am not necessarily a runner, I have always been involved in sports.
JP: How did you become involved with Team Love4Gambia?
RA: After returning from our trip, many members of the group were inspired by the NSGA, and wanted to remain involved with the organization. Another one of the youth on the trip, Max, told us that he had signed up for the Bluenose in support of Love4Gambia, and that we should run too. Now there are several of us running the 5k.
JP: Why is it important to you to run for The Gambia with Team Love4Gambia?
RA: I witnessed first hand the impact that the NSGA was having in the Gambia, so it was very important to me to remain involved and do my part to contribute to the further education in The Gambia. Running in the Bluenose is the first way which I can start doing that.
JP: Great. So what has been the easiest part of training?
RA: The easiest part of my training has been the motivation. When you are running for a cause that really inspires you, it is much easier to run than trying to get outside on your own.
JP: And what has been the most challenging?
RA: The most challenging part of training has been that I am out of shape. I have to work harder than I used to, and finish with a longer time. It can be a little disheartening, but it is something that I can improve upon by running more.
JP: What is your favourite part about running?
RA: My favourite part is when I have been running just long enough that my body adjusts. For around the first 1/2 mile, my body is telling me to stop and go sit down in front of the computer, but after I pass a certain point, I get used to the feeling of running, and feel like I could continue to run forever.
JP: And how do you keep motivated?
RA: Like I mentioned before, I keep motivated by reminding myself about why I am running, both to get back into shape, and to support an amazing organization.
JP: What are you looking forward to most on race day?
I am looking forward to running with a group of people that I have become very close
to while visiting The Gambia, as well as meeting others who share the same love for the NSGA as me.
JP: I’m looking forward to that too. What advice would you give runners or walkers to assist them in their training for the Bluenose?
RA: I am a bit of a hypocrite in saying this, but the best advice is just to start. Getting yourself to leave the comfort of your house, and run until your sore isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but it is a lot easier if you just start running.
JP: Thanks Rachel! I wish you all the best in your training, fundraising, and running on race day. Looks like you are more than ready to go!