In just a few, short weeks on Sunday, October 18, eager athletes of all levels will lace-up their shoes for the annual Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM). Supporting a wide range of charities, including the Children’s Aid Foundation very own Team HOPE, participants will unite forces to raise funds for vulnerable kids across Canada’s child welfare system. With team members comprised of Foundation staff and family members, along with those in the community eager to support CAF programs, this community event encourages the fulfilment of personal goals as well as networking within a positive, powerful group. Rebecca Tait, a returning member of Team HOPE, not only views the run as a great way to stay active but as a way to support a cause that is near and dear to her heart. As the mother of two adopted sons (pictured above), Tait says that adopting “completely changed her life” and is an experience for which she feels extremely grateful to children’s aid societies.
In anticipation of the upcoming STWM, we caught-up with Tait to discuss how she first got involved and what motivates her to keep running. Read it below:
Children’s Aid Foundation: How did you first get running with the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon?
Rebecca Tait: Last year was the first year that I actually ran it. The year previous to last, I signed-up to run it but had a knee injury and wasn’t able to run. I had knee surgery a couple weeks after I walked it.
CAF: Why did you choose to support Team HOPE through the run?
RT: Well, [my children] changed my life; I get emotional just thinking about it. They made me a mother, a parent. I’m a different person because of the Children’s Aid Society. I’m a stay-at-home mom now and my boys are everything to me. The Children’s Aid Society has done so much for me and my husband and family, it’s the least I can do.
CAF: What was the experience of running like?
RT: It was incredible. Doing it in support of [CAF], I guess when you sort of hit the wall it’s nice to have something very close to home to keep you going. Both my boys were adopted through the Children’s Aid Society, so it’s definitely a cause that’s very near and dear to my heart and my family’s heart.
CAF: What’s the best part about participating in the STWM?
RT: There are many good parts… I mean crossing the finish line. From an athletic standpoint, having something to work towards on a daily basis; you’re not just out running aimlessly, you have an ultimate goal to work towards. I love Toronto, it’s a beautiful city, and it’s nice to see it from so many different angles while you’re running. And, [the run] is very well organized, very well supported. There’s water every 2K and washrooms and people clapping everywhere you go. They read your name on your bib, it’s an incredibly run event.
CAF: Any advice for first time runners or walkers?
RT: I would say just pace yourself. Don’t look at the person in front of you or behind you, just do your best and don’t worry if someone… I don’t know, I think I’m competitive by nature, so when I see someone going faster than me I want to beat them, but I can’t let that [affect me]. There’s always going to be faster and slower people, I just need to focus on my own pace and my own goals and finish the run.
CAF: What’s it like running with other members of Team HOPE?
RT: I’m more of a solo runner; I’ve never really run with a group of people I know. But, being downtown with all those people, it’s really exciting to watch everybody in their highs and lows, and people singing out loud to the music on their headphones, and people who look like they’re about to [give in]. Of course, seeing all of the happy and tired faces at the end; there’s something magical about it.
CAF: Anything else to add about supporting the Foundation?
RT: Just that it’s such a worthy cause. We’re so, so lucky to have become parents through the CAS. To anyone considering adoption, I would encourage them to investigate it further to see if it’s for them. It’s certainly been the best thing I’ve ever done.