The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) is just a month away, and members of the Foundation’s #TeamHOPE can’t wait to tie-up their runners and hit the pavement in support of vulnerable kids across Canada!

This month, we’re profiling Native Child & Family Services’ Trudy Angeconeb, a returning Team HOPE participant who will be joining the marathon on October 16th. Native Child & Family Services is one of the Children’s Aid Foundation’s partner agencies.

Check out Trudy’s thoughts on the STWM and keeping active to support vulnerable kids:

CAFDN: When did you first become interested in joining the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon?

Trudy Angeconeb: I became interested in running the full marathon, 42.2km, the year I turned 42. My main objective was to be more active, spend more time on my feet, and to ultimately achieve a healthier lifestyle. The waterfront route also appealed to me.  I have always had an affinity for water, so I thought if there was any long run I can get through, it would be this one.

CAFDN: What sort of running experience did you have before your first STWM run?

Trudy: I participated in track-and-field and had a stint at cross-country in elementary school, but I never developed any further running goals beyond that. Since then, I ran occasionally but never routinely. I registered for the Nike 10k run on the Toronto Island one year and found the vibe electric and fun; again, it was running near water that appealed to me. Another time I registered for a Terry Fox run. The route was in the Toronto Beaches on the waterfront trail.  The process in fundraising for cancer research and running the event really helped me deal with the grief and loss of my mother who succumbed to the disease in 2008. I have found running to be therapeutic.

CAFDN: How do you prepare for the run?

Trudy: Physical preparation takes about five months of consistent training, running minimally three times a week. Each week gets a little harder and the mileage also increases. Mental preparation is also key, as sometimes negative thoughts pervade the mind. It’s important to implement strategies that will work to help stay on track. When all else fails, I get support from my family, the Running Room, and the Beaches Running club. Nutrition is also critical. I am learning what foods work best to fuel my runs, and which foods are best to help me with recovery.

CAFDN: What’s the best part of participating with Team HOPE?

Trudy: Team Hope raises funds for underprivileged children in the child welfare system. Preventative programs and services help children develop a sense of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. Services may be in the form of tutoring to help with educational endeavours, or they may be in the form of sports or activities where there is a sense of belonging, community and team work. There are also opportunities for participating in cultural teachings and ceremonies to nurture the spiritual self. I am motivated by the positive change I see and I am truly inspired by the young leadership developing as they work hard and persevere.

CAFDN: What does it mean to be supporting your organization?

Trudy: Running doesn’t come easy for me and I gather every ounce of perseverance I can, to get through it. I am training for my fourth marathon and still anticipate the day when the lifestyle change I hope to achieve will come naturally. When I feel pain, I think of those who suffer daily due to trauma or unfortunate circumstances they were born into. On my recovery days, I am very sore and achy. It is at this time I am reminded that healing is a journey.

Supporting the organization helps the families and children on their own healing journey. Any support is appreciated as we wait for tangible results from the recommendations and findings of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal held earlier this year. The Tribunal found that First Nations on reserves have been discriminated against by not being afforded the same opportunities or resources other Canadians have enjoyed. Many of the people we provide services to come from these communities. Early on in my career, I visited some of the remote communities and have seen impoverished conditions, dilapidated, overcrowded houses and overpriced food. To help people move forward, we must understand where they have been.

CAFDN: What advice do you have for first time STWM participants?

Trudy: Committing to any distance can be very daunting, especially if we are not accustomed to running/walking the distance. Ensure you are medically cleared and train smart. Drills are helpful and stretching after every run is absolutely critical. Seek medical advice if there is an ache or pain that seems to be getting worse, and remember to enjoy it!  Finish smiling.

CAFDN: Why should others join Team HOPE in support of Native Child and Family Services Toronto?

Trudy: It’s a time of Truth and Reconciliation. Recommendations are always welcome, as well as the resources needed to implement healthy positive strategies and partnerships.  Indigenous issues have been suppressed and bringing awareness to the broader community is critical. It is vital to ensure there are preventative programs and services for our young people. They are our voice and future leaders.

Interested in joining or supporting Team HOPE? Click here.

About The Author

The Children's Aid Foundation of Canada funds programs to help Canada's most vulnerable children and youth, those who have experienced or are at risk of abuse and neglect, overcome the obstacles in life that prevent them from reaching their full potential. We are committed to giving ongoing support to those who need it most.

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