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Whistler man running for a cure

Clark finds inspiration in wife’s daily battles

Dave Clark has been training for over a year for one day in September. That day will see him run 56 kilometres in support of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC).

Clark, co-founder of Whistler’s Friends of B.C. Children’s Hospital and an organizer of the annual Balding for Dollars event, is participating in The Great Lake Walk on Sept. 17. The route circumnavigates Lake Cowichan, following gravel and paved roads to complete the 56 km. Clark hopes that by doing the run he will be able to raise $2,000 for the CCFC.

Crohn’s disease is one of the most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is a chronic intestinal disorder, which causes abdominal pain, cramping, fatigue and diarrhea. It can sometimes make living a normal life very difficult for those afflicted. The severity of symptoms varies widely and the disease can flare-up with no warning and may require hospitalization or surgery.

Clark said his motive for doing the run is his wife.

"When I first met my wife, just over five years ago, I was not very aware of what Crohn's Disease is and the effect it can have on the lives of those who suffer from it on a daily basis. My wife was first diagnosed with Crohn's in the mid-90s, at first being very sick and unable to attend work or lead the normal, active lifestyle that she had become accustomed to. Her determination and will to live through these times has made her my hero. She is my inspiration to get through the tough times that present themselves in ordinary life."

Clark said he has been training daily for the run. Last year’s fastest runner completed the Lake Cowichan course in 4 hours and 47 minutes; the last person to finish took more than 14 hours.

"My average day begins at 5 a.m. for a training session prior to work; running, swimming, cycling, and weights are all part of my regular training routine…" Clark explained. "When the training hurts to the point that I want to stop, my attention turns to Wendy and the pain I have seen her endure. Suddenly the pain I feel while training seems small. In all my life, she is my inspiration."

Clark has already raised some funds towards his goal through sponsorship of local businesses and the proceeds from the sale of taster passes at the Canadian National BBQ Championships that were held at Dusty’s Bar and BBQ July 30 and 31.