Calgary Marathon – a family tradition

8 years ago, our family ran in the Calgary Marathon Race Weekend for the first time.  Kevin ran the 1/2 marathon, and the girls ran the “kids marathon” which involved logging 41 km before race day and running the last 1.2 km with a crowd of kids (and I, of course, cheered loud and took lots of pictures):

We haven’t missed a year since.  Kevin has run the marathon most years, and even did a 50 K last year.  The girls moved from the kids marathon to 5 Ks and 10 Ks . . . And, when 5 years ago, Engineering Ministries International had a chance to become one of the official charities for the Charity Challenge, the Calgary Marathon became even more fun, because suddenly there was a whole team of people running with us and cheering us on (and we get to be in the TEAM EMI video 😉 ) :

More TEAM EMI photos

This year, though – this year was special.  Both girls had set the bar high, and it’s amazing how far they’ve come as runners – and how much they love to run.

Talia, at 14, was determined to run her first half-marathon.  That’s 21.1 km.  That’s a long ways! Now, she’s been running 10 Ks since she was 9, without really training much between races at all.  But Kevin insisted that she had to be running semi-regularly if she was going to attempt that kind of distance, and he’d pace her through the course.  So she trained, and a few weeks before the Calgary Marathon, she ran a 15 K, the furthest distance she’d attempted so far.  But – despite being a bit nervous on race day – she had an amazing run.  She basically treated it like a really long 10 K, and actually wasn’t much slower than her 10 K pace.  2 hours and 4 minutes after she crossed the start line – and with a strong sprint at the end! – she finished her very first (but according to her, not her last) half marathon.

Talia & Kevin running Talia’s  first half-marathon

Kaisa wasn’t old enough for the half-marathon yet, so she was going to content herself with aiming for a personal best on the 10 K (which she got, with a chip time of 57:55).  But then a friend signed up for the 5 K, so she tossed around the idea of running with her too, since the 5 K race was several hours after the 10 K.  In the end, her friend couldn’t run, but Kaisa did . . . she started with some other TEAM EMI runners (including a cute baby in a stoller 😉 ), and ran with one of the interns for a while, but in the end, she couldn’t NOT run all out . . . and finished her second race of the day in just over 31 minutes.

Sprint at the 10 K finish

That evening we enjoyed another perk of being part of the team – the TEAM EMI BBQ (including lots of barely valuable prizes 😉 ).  Kaisa got a Timmies card for being the top youth fundraiser, and they both got a thumbs up sticky pad for their personal bests


The team actually ended up raising almost $10,000 for eMi Canada, and donations are still open ( so they’re hoping to by the end of the month it’ll be OVER $10,000.  The project that they’re sponsoring this year is the design of a Theological College & Conference Centre in Malawi – Steve & our interns are actually in Malawi working on that project right now.

And my runners?  Well, the girls have a triathlon to run this weekend – and we had to convince Kaisa that running a 10 K the day before her triathlon was probably not the best idea.  And Kevin’s training for an 80 K this fall and is trying to get lots of kms (and lots of hill climbs!) in before then (he’s been blogging about his running at if you’re really interested).  Hey – if my family wants to run, I’ll keep cheering them on . . .


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