Running for a cause

By Peter Stein

A student has hit the road to raise money for post-secondary education.

What started as work-term credit for University of Victoria student Wes Baker for his entrepreneurship class, became a reality soon after. Baker’s company, RunCanada Association, began with help from corporate and media sponsorship.

According to the company’s website, it was founded to help reduce the financial pressures of students.

“As recent university graduates, we appreciate how significant financial assistance can be when living month-to-month, paycheck-to-paycheck,” reads the website. “Therefore, we are raising funds that can be used to directly benefit those in need.”

Baker began his journey June 15, 2003, from Halifax, NS. He will have traveled 6,000 km by foot when he arrives in Victoria, BC.

Nearly four and half months after his start, Baker is almost done. He stopped in Calgary for a few days rest before heading towards BC.

Proper preparation was needed for his journey.

“I started the planning and training process in January, mostly I ran a few times a day and worked out at the gym,” said Baker.

After training was complete, Baker was ready to hit the long road west.

At first, Baker’s motivation was the personal challenge it presented and the how it would benefit others. Now after conquering eastern and central Canada, Baker can look back and reflect on the past five months.

“It feels more like a job now, but it’s all about the mental game from here,” he explained.

Baker found out early on how hard running across the world’s second-largest country can be. Just outside Brampton, ON, Baker suffered an ankle injury and things seemed bleak. After gritting his teeth and pushing forward bit by bit, he managed to make a gradual recovery.

“So far I’ve gone through five pairs of shoes and only one SOLE,” confessed Baker.

SOLE, one of his sponsors wanted to test their product’s durability across Canada. Although it endured a long time through extreme conditions, Baker admits he eventually killed the shoe insert. After running an average of 65 km every day for five months, he wasn’t surprised.

What does Baker take away from his experience?

“If there is something you want bad, don’t let anything hold you back, just do it,” said Baker. “I know it sounds cliche but unless you give something a shot, you’ll never know what could have been.”

Visit to donate.


Leave a comment