Ten people came out to Pither’s Point Park on Saturday morning for a 5K fun run/walk in support of Bill Michl’s upcoming “Joints in Motion” marathon on the Great Wall of China.
Michl said he’s getting closer to his fundraising goal of $6,300 so he can go to China, with $443 in pledges brought in Saturday.
“I’m roughly around the $2,500 mark. I’m getting there,” he noted. “The hard part’s the fundraising.
“I’d like to get it out of the way.”
While Michl strives to reach his goal (that money will go to the Thunder Bay Arthritis Society), the Arthritis Society will line up in-kind donations from sponsors so they can fly the runners like Michl to their destination for free, and provide accommodation.
The 42.2-km race (26.2 miles) will be held in Beijing, China in May, 2008, with some portions of the route taking the runners onto the Great Wall of China itself.
Local resident Gabby Hanzuk, who suffers from psoriatic arthritis, is Michl’s chosen “hero” for this run.
While he’ll step up his training regime a few months before the actual marathon, for now Michl will continue with his usual schedule—running 60-70 km a week.
He added that because the trek will involve about 3,700 steps, he’s done some training on the ski hill at the Little Beaver Snow Park here.
“This summer’s been bad because I’ve been injured,” Michl noted. “But as soon as I get back in shape, I’ll be running at the ski hill again. I want to get the timing in.
“[The doctors] don’t know [how I got hurt],” Michl added. “Last February, I thought I pulled a muscle, and it just kept getting worse and worse. And then it ended being that my hip was rocked over.
“Not pulled out of joint, but ‘tilted,’ they said.”
Michl already has participated in two “Joints in Motion” marathons—one in Dublin in 2004 and another in Hawaii in 2005.
To sponsor Michl online, go to arthritis.ca, select the “Joints in Motion” link on the left, and then the “Support Participants” link on the right.
Follow the search directions to find Michl’s sponsorship page.