The students at Lady Grey Elementary had a special visitor on June 13 when former Olympian Mike Strange dropped in to the school.
Strange, who won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in the light welterweight boxing division, has been running about 40 kilometres a day en route from Thunder Bay, Ontario to Victoria to raise money and awareness for cancer.
The event is being called the Box Run and started when Mike’s good friend Bob Lavelle passed away three years ago from cancer.
Lavelle was a mentor and a guy who helped raise funds for Canadian amateur athletes.
Last year Mike organized the Heater’s Heroes Run for Children in honour of Lavelle (whose nickname was Heater).
The event was designed to help children run one mile with their favourite celebrity and raised $25,000.
One of the kids involved with the run was Kelsey Hill. Hill was a young girl who suffered from a brain tumour in Ridgeway, Ontario.
After the race Strange and Hill became friends and he went on to push her in the Terry Fox Run about a month after the Heater run.
Strange stayed in touch with Hill and her family but eventually the young child passed away. This devastated Strange who was inspired to come up with something more he could do.
“It all came together after pushing her at the Terry Fox event. Why don’t I run where Terry Fox didn’t. A lot of people have run in the same footsteps. I didn’t want to run where he did, basically his footsteps are sacred. I decided to run from where he was forced to stop,” Strange said.
The run was on day 63 when they arrived in Golden and hope to end on day 83 when they reach Victoria where Strange will dip his Commonwealth games gold medal in the Pacific.
“It has been a great journey with ups and downs. It is a roller coaster ride both mentally and physically,” Strange said. “The kids get so pumped. It has been awesome.”