Sean Wingrave is a River Valley Alliance Ambassador. On June 8, 2019, he will be doing a “really long run” from Fort Saskatchewan to Devon to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. This first guest blog post by him talks about why he’s inspired to run in our river valley.
Living with Multiple Sclerosis is not fun. Shocking, I know. In the 13 years I’ve been living with the disease, it has never developed a sense of humor or managed to leave me alone—even for a day. However, I discovered a love of running as part of my recovery and, luckily, I find running fun and a great distraction. Running is even more enjoyable when I run in the Edmonton river valley.
When I moved to Edmonton from Kamloops in the late nineties, I never anticipated having access to such a treasure. Seriously, how many prairie cities have anything like it? We are so fortunate living in the Capital Region to be able to take advantage of all the wonderful outdoor opportunities the River Valley offers.
Switching back to Multiple Sclerosis for a minute—back in 2015, I created and ran the very first “Really Long Run to End MS.” The Long Run followed the day one route for the MS Bike event and saw me run 80 kilometres along the highway. I did it again in 2016. The two runs raised over $35,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.
The event went into hiatus for 2017 and 2018, and when I decided to do it again this year, it was suggested to me that I should do it in the river valley instead. Why didn’t I think of that before? I train in the river valley and it never occurred to me to use it for the route. I’ve never been accused of being “the sharpest knife in the drawer.”
On Saturday June 8, the Really Long Run will officially move to the River Valley. On June 8, I’ll be running from the Dow baseball fields in Fort Saskatchewan to Prospector’s Point in Parkland County using the river valley trail system (for the most part). The course is 88 kilometres and I expect it to take me somewhere between 10-12 hours to finish. I am very excited that I’ve been able to connect with the River Valley Alliance for this initiative!
This year we’d like to raise $7,500 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. As of writing this we are just under $5,000, so please donate by going to www.reallylongruntoendms.ca. The website also has more information on the run and how to find me on Social Media (@MSLongRun).