A Salmon Arm woman embarked on a solo 33-kilometre run earlier than scheduled due the impending heat wave set to raise mercury levels in the 40s.
Kristy Handel completed the run early Wednesday, June 23, to raise funds to cover medical expenses for an Armstrong woman and friend.
“Surprise!” Kristy Handel wrote in a GoFundMe update.
Her finishing time: two hours and 50 minutes.
Chelaine McInroy underwent surgery on June 12 to remove infected bone and tissue linked to a 2016 amputation, but now the prosthetics she relies on will no longer fit.
“One of the first things Chelaine said to me after the surgery was not that she was in pain or felt unwell, but how would she pay for the resized prosthetics?” organizer Kristy Handel wrote on the GoFundMe webpage.
McInroy works in training wild mustangs and specializes in working with abused, abandoned and neglected horses, and without properly fitted prosthetics, continuing work would be nearly impossible.
“I’ve known Chelaine for only a couple of months, but in that time, she has become one of my most cherished friends,” said long-distance runner Handel. “She has the hugest heart.”
Handel set up the GoFundMe campaign to collect donations and sponsorships ahead of her 33km run for Chelaine. As of June 23, Handel raised $2,000 of her $3,000 goal.
“I chose 33 km because it’s a challenge — as any long-distance runner knows. No matter how much you train, anything above 25K is a huge test of one’s mental and physical strength,” she writes.
“Thirty-three K for $3,000; 33K to impact a life. I know it’s hard times for so many people right now — this is what I can do for Chelaine.”
To donate or learn more, visit 33K Run For Chelaine on gofundme.com.