Here’s a huge shout out to fellow Cliff’s Antiques runner Erin Poirier who is, as we speak, running across the Gambia to raise awareness about HIV-AIDS and money for projects such as bringing useful technology to remote and underdeveloped areas. Check out her amazing blog: http://love4gambia.com/
Unfortunately, I don’t know Erin because she trains with Cliff on different nights than I do, but her running project is inspiring – and she’s doing amazing. She’s cranking out 25km days in crazy heat and pretty much having a transcendent experience along the way.
In the past, I’ve been a little critical of pairing adventure sports with charitable causes – sometimes they seem like stunts or excuses to get the money to do something cool. But this is not a stunt. Erin is doing good work – the run gives people an excuse to donate to a cause they might not otherwise consider. And this is no fly-by-night association with the Gambia. She has volunteered there as a nurse, and she sits on the board of the Nova Scotia-Gambia Association. She puts in the time – her commitment is long-lived and genuine.
There is a nice article about her and her run in the latest issue of Canadian Running. And I’d just like to quote something from it: “An avid distance runner, Erin trains with Cliff’s Antiques, one of the top marathon and half-marathon groups in Nova Scotia.” I believe this is the first reference in print to Cliff’s Antiques!! I can still remember when Rayleen, Nick, Alex, and I were doing a cool-down run in Point Pleasant park and trying to come up with a name and logo for the group. Rayleen suggested the name, and the rest of us agreed immediately. Now that wee name has made it into Canadian running lore. I’m so happy about it that I’ll forgive the author the otherwise unforgivable slight on our 5k and 10k runners – we have some of the best of those in the province too!!
Anyway… the point is that one of our own is doing great work. Go check out her blog and cheer her on as she reaches Banjul and the shores of the Atlantic. Maybe you’ll even be inspired to donate a buck or two – or at least a little love for the Gambia.