Shelagh Germyn (right) will be running from Campbell River to Nanaimo

Helping moms and kids in the ‘long run’

This year marks Sheila Germyn’s 10th anniversary of running and fundraising in Campbell River for Women For Women

One last big run.

At age 55, Shelagh Germyn figures she has the energy and the stamina for one more ultra marathon: To run 160 kilometres (100 miles) from Campbell River to Nanaimo in a fundraiser to support women and children.

“I just have to go-girl. It’s my last big goal,” she says.

This year marks Germyn’s 10th anniversary of running and fundraising in Campbell River for Women For Women. Over that decade, she and her supporters raised almost $30,000 for bursaries which support single mothers going back to school at North Island College.

This year will be different.

On Saturday, Sept. 7, Germyn will be running for the Campbell River Perinatal Society and the Campbell River Women’s Centre.

“The support is needed,” says Marine McLachlan, volunteer co-ordinator at the women’s centre.

The small centre on Ironwood Road opens its doors 20 hours a week and hosts 500-600 drop-in visitors a month. It provides support services for women, along with clothing and hygiene supplies.

McLachlan says they used to provide diapers and formula to single moms, but no longer can due to a lack of money.

“We couldn’t keep up with the demand,” she says.

The perinatal society is also fundraising to build New Dawn House, a maternity home to, “provide a safe environment where a mother and baby can grow and learn together.”

Dawn Pomponio is spearheading the fundraising effort to open New Dawn House and explains it will provide a secure and nurturing environment for women who need a safe home and have no where else to go.

The moms, along with their babes, will be able to stay anywhere from a year to two years while they learn parenting, social and work skills. A house mother/mentor will also live on site.

Pomponio says it’s great Germyn is running in support of the maternity home, but the yoga fan doesn’t share her long-time friend’s passion for long-distance running.

“I think she’s nuts!” says Pomponio laughing.

Germyn has done plenty of ultra-marathons in the past and figures the run to Nanaimo will take 25-30 hours. She’s also hoping some fellow runners will join in to support her.

“I need some help to get through the first 50 miles!” says Germyn.

She’s also looking for sponsors and supporters. Call Germyn at 250-203-2845  and look for pledge sheets at Associated Tire, Vancouver Island Insurance Centres, Save On Foods, Ocean Mountain Yoga and the Campbell River Women’s Centre.