Island runner completes 30 marathons in 30 days to raise money for Victoria hospitals
Published Sunday, May 30, 2021 3:50PM PDT Last Updated Sunday, May 30, 2021 7:15PM PDT
VICTORIA -- After running 30 marathons in 30 days, Yana Hempler crossed the finish line for the last time on Sunday completely composed and hardly out of breath.
“I would be dragging my butt,” said running mate Sean Mitchell. “This was her fastest of the 30, so it’s pretty amazing”
Hempler took on the challenge with an ambitious goal of raising $500,000 for the Victoria Hospitals Foundation. By the time she crossed the finish line Sunday, she had raised about $100,000.
“COVID has placed a stress on our system, as you can imagine, and there’s a lot of needs, and Yana is going to help us meet those needs for Island Health,” said Victoria Hospitals Foundation executive director Avery Brohman.
Last year, Hempler ran 12 marathons in 12 days, raising more than $20,000 for the foundation, but her efforts provide much more than financial support.
“When we hit wave one last year, Yana gave us hope,” said Brohman. “And about a month ago, when we were experiencing wave three, it was a little difficult in the community, and Yana renewed our hope again, and she initiated this massive feat of strength."
After last year's marathon challenge, Hempler says it was a special donation of $25,000, from a man named Dennis Hoy that pushed her along once more.
“He passed away shortly after making that donation and I never got the opportunity to meet him and I never got the opportunity to say thank you,” said Hempler.
“And for me, I wanted to show him that his generosity does not go unnoticed, and that I genuinely appreciate what he has done, and that he has left a legacy for our hospitals.”
The money raised from this year’s marathon challenge will help cover the cost of medical equipment in Victoria’s hospitals.
While Hempler makes running look easy, she says you do not always have to be the fastest or go the farthest to have a lasting impact.
“There’s no such thing as a donation that’s too small,” said Hempler.
“Whether it’s someone that’s never run before and wants to do a 5K, or a someone that has recovered from a critical illness and is now completing their first 10K or half-marathon, those stories are equally as inspiring.”
If you would like to help Yana Hempler reach her fundraising goal, you can visit her Twitter profile, here.