Team FIT takes part in Sun Run

Forty-three runners represented Hope at the annual Vancouver event

Forty-three members of Hope’s Team F.I.T. club took part in the annual 10-kilometre Sun Run in Vancouver last Sunday.  

The things our kids get us involved in….

One local dad was living in his own little comfort zone three years ago, when his daughter came home and announced that she had entered the whole family in a running club at C.E. Barry School.

“It was Hannah that signed us all up and I said, ‘I can’t do this!’” recalled Dan Hambly, laughing.

“I’m a mechanic for Emil Anderson and during snow season, if I get the call, I’ve got to go. Also, our son Ashtyn had braces from an Achilles operation he had, so I didn’t think he could do it.”

Fast forward three years and Hambly has completed the 10km Sun Run three times and is now preparing to run the half marathon at Abbotsford’s Run For Water event on May 25.

“It’ll be the longest distance I’ve ever run,” said Hambly.

Going back to 2011, Hambly said he was shamed into going along when Ashtyn decided that he would take part in the 13-week Team F.I.T. program — despite having had tendon-lengthening surgery and being saddled with walking braces. With other son Dryden, daughter Hannah and wife Yvonne already on-board, dad didn’t have much of a choice.

“As it turned out, I never got called in to work during our training that first year,” said Hambly. “I think I only missed one of the runs.

“Ashtyn and I ran the Sun Run together the first two years, then I moved up to the Run Faster group this year, so I was on my own. Ashtyn ended up getting sick the night before the race, so he couldn’t run this year. He and I will be in Run Faster next year, so we can run together again.”

Sunday in Vancouver, the Team F.I.T. (Families In Training) group had 43 participants on the 10km course.

“I stayed up with Dryden till the 4.5 kilometer mark this year — then he just took off!” said Dan.

Dryden posted Hope’s third-fastest time, at 47:07… two minutes behind Hope’s quickest duo, Dawson Hollmann and Levi Cowan, who posted 45:18 and 45:19 respectively.

Those two are intent on beating Hope Secondary teacher Jeremy Smith’s time from his high school days, rumoured to be 36 minutes, said Kim Hollmann, another team leader.

Dan melted over nine minutes off the mark he had set with Ashtyn last year. His 5:06 per kilometer pace gave him a very respectable 51:00.

After the first Sun Run, Hambly said he just shut down the running until the second year’s start up. Now, he’s hooked and he looks forward to running three times a week.

“It’s good for your heart and soul,” said Hambly, “I find it relaxing — and it doesn’t cost much… just a pair of running shoes.

“If they didn’t have Team F.I.T., I don’t think we would have done it,” he added. “I think we would have just gone quadding.”

One of Team F.I.T.’s leaders, Miranda Cowan said, “Dan doesn’t realize what an inspiration he is for the rest of the team.”

There were other inspirational stories, such as Chris Miller and his 10-year-old son Jacob, finishing together in 53:33 — and Hope’s fastest female, Kayla Penner, crossing the line at 51:32.

“Gerry Dyble had never run before — and she never missed a session,” said Cowan. “She came in at 1:24:10.”

Two entire Hope-based families were on the course this year, one for their first-ever 10k.

C.E. Barry student Faith Johnny got her family involved in the program and she completed the course in 1:01:48, her stepdad Teri Gonzales finishing a step ahead. At roughly 1:31:12, stepbrother Austin Gonzales, sister Kaylayla Johnny and mom Susie crossed the line together.

Once again, all six Hollmanns took part in the race: parents Peter and Kim and sons Dawson, Kai, Bendix and Fraser.

Fraser crossed the line with his grandpa, Don McKay, at 1:17:31.

McKay’s story is similar to Hambly’s and is inspirational in its own right. His daughter Kim’s family was on the team, then his other daughter Marlo and his wife Carole-Ann joined — so what could he do?

The things our kids get us involved in….