She lost all of her toenails and had to run 20 kilometres in socks last year, but Kalyn Head wants to do it again, running an ultra marathon to benefit Special Olympics BC.
A Chilliwack born-and-raised endurance runner, Head has spent her last three birthdays pushing her limits and raising funds for community organizations. Last year she did 100 kilometres and generated $6,000 for at-risk youth accessing programs through Chilliwack Community Services.
It was painful and exhausting and much harder than she thought it would be.
“But the experience of conquering such a large goal was so rewarding that I have decided to do it again this year on my 24th birthday,” Head said.
Head has served as a volunteer coach with Special Olympics Chilliwack and Abbotsford the last six years, seeing first-hand how dedicated the organization is to improving the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.
That’s why she’s chosen that organization to benefit from this year’s run.
“I think the resources available for children and adults with intellectual disabilities are so limited, but Special Olympics does such a great job giving all the athletes an opportunity to live social and active lives,” she said. “They meet each athlete at their ability and make sure that everyone can succeed.”
This fundraiser gives Head the opportunity to introduce local Special Olympians to the Chilliwack and Abbotsford communities and showcase their unique personalities.
“I love being able to show that having an intellectual disability shouldn’t hold anyone back from following their dreams and being included,” she said. “I think exposing the community to these incredible individuals gives everyone a better understanding of disabilities and how we can make the community more inclusive and equitable to everyone.”
Head will start this year’s run at midnight on July 23, completing a 50 kilometre loop around Chilliwack before heading on to Abbotsford.
She plans to complete her run around noon, rolling into Rotary Stadium, surrounded by her special Olympics athletes, friends and family.
To contribute to her fundraiser, email Kalyn.email@example.com or call 604-845-5566.