Langley, British Columbia—Cheryl Abbot has competed in the Vancouver Sun Run every year, save one, since 1995. And just because she is nearly seven months pregnant did not prevent Abbot from completing the run this year—or from inspiring 30 of her colleagues at Trinity Western University to do the same. A financial analyst at TWU, Abbot pulled together the University’s first corporate team for the April 21 event.
“Every year I do the Sun Run,” says Abbot, who now has seven Sun Run races to her name. “I think I’ve gotten to the point where I’ll always do it.”
It was a newspaper article on the run that caught Abbot’s eye eight years ago and prompted her to enter the 10 km event.
“The next morning I got up at six o’clock to start my training and I was totally winded by the end of my block,” admits Abbot. “A week later there was a training schedule in the newspaper that I cut out and followed. By April I was ready.”
Sporting old runners that had been given to her, Abbot completed the race in the time she had set as her goal.
“As I crossed the finish line the clock turned to 60 minutes. I was totally thrilled,” says Abbot.
Since then, the only Sun Run Abbot has missed was in 1998, six weeks after the birth of her first son. Abbot finished this year’s event in 97 minutes—an impressive time considering her extra passenger who is due to arrive on June 30.
“Training for the run is a good kick-start after Christmas,” says Abbot. “It’s kind of like a rite of spring.”
It was in January when Abbot pulled together TWU’s corporate team, even though she was unsure if she would be able to participate this year. Leading a training group for her colleagues each Monday night, Abbot also brought in a specialist from Penninsula Runners in Walnut Grove to educate her colleagues on proper footwear for the event, something she was missing her first year.
“I think a lot of us wouldn’t have done this if it wasn’t for Cheryl bringing us together and taking leadership,” says KristaJoy Johnson, a President’s Office intern and first time participant, as were most on TWU’s corporate team. “Her encouragement, letting us know that anyone can train to do the run was the push I needed to start running.”
Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a privately funded Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,000 students this year. With a broad-based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 34 major areas ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 12 graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.
Last Updated: 2007-09-26