By Maureen McEwan
Marc Gagnon determined to start out his summer time trip differently.
On July 27-28, the Hintonburg native walked 24 hours consecutively round Ottawa to boost consciousness on girls’s psychological wellness and to encourage participation on this yr’s Digital Run for Ladies.
The nationwide Run for Ladies occasion helps girls’s psychological well being and is organized by way of the LOVE YOU by Buyers Drug Mart™ program. For 2020, the 5K run/stroll and 10Okay run occasions will happen in 18 Canadian cities just about on Sept. 27.
That is Gagnon’s first yr collaborating.
“I’m a co-captain for a staff within the Run for Ladies,” he mentioned. “So I used to be on the lookout for a solution to encourage the staff, to set an instance for the staff, after which actually to have individuals be part of.”
After growing the concept with a good friend, Gagnon settled on the concept to stroll for 24 hours due to the symbolism.
“The battle with psychological well being, it’s not simply 24 hours,” he mentioned. “My ache that I really feel, that is short-term. The battle with psychological well being, and psychological sickness, it goes past 24/7.”
Within the metropolis, he mentioned the Royal Ottawa Psychological Well being Centre (‘The Royal’) supplies important companies to these with psychological well being points 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
“So this simply appeared to [have] that symmetry there, or that synergy, with 24.”
Gagnon set off from his residence in Hintonburg round 7 a.m. on July 27. He first headed west to Stittsville, reaching Quitters Espresso. After that, he turned again to go east, taking West Hunt Membership Highway by way of the night in direction of Orleans. Within the morning, he looped again by way of the Byward Market/Hull after which in direction of residence in Kitchissippi.
Gagnon accomplished the 78 km loop round 7 a.m. on July 28, taking roughly 103,000 steps, and ending on time.
One of many largest challenges was the climate — Gagnon mentioned the 30 diploma warmth “zapped” his vitality at factors. The “loneliest half” was from 10 p.m. to four a.m. when he was heading east. Gagnon mentioned he was strolling slowly and taking extra mini-breaks throughout that stretch.
However there have been plenty of constructive moments. Gagnon mentioned there was loads of digital encouragement and, alongside the route, he was visited by his mother, associates and employees from each The Royal and The Royal Ottawa Basis for Psychological Well being.
“It was good to really feel that assist,” he mentioned. “And so they had been very grateful for what was completed.” he mentioned.
Throughout the pandemic, he mentioned girls have had the added problem of balancing completely different roles — being a mom, accomplice, trainer, worker or employer, and many others. For him, the very best a part of the 24-hour journey was simply being part of the dialog supporting girls’s psychological well being.
“I feel a part of it was simply the dialog and the encouragement that I noticed,” he mentioned. And, actually, the chance to ask individuals — like my teammates [who] are a part of Workforce ‘It Issues’ — why are you getting concerned? And for individuals to share their [stories] and their ardour.”
“Ladies’s psychological well being, it issues,” he added.
Gagnon’s 24-hour journey marked two months till the eighth annual Run for Ladies. This yr, 100 per cent of the native registration charges can be donated to the Ladies’s Psychological Well being program at The Royal.
To be taught extra, go to runforwomen.ca or theroyal.ca.
— to kitchissippi.com