VICTORIA -- Friday was day one for marathoner Yana Hempler's goal of completing 10 marathons in 10 days and raising $10,000 for medical equipment.

The 30-year-old runner, fitness coach and writer kicked off her first marathon around 9 a.m. Friday and said she would pace herself accordingly, planning to finish in less than five hours. Her best marathon time is three hours and 18 minutes but says this is not a race.

Hempler is raising money for the Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s critical care unit, a charity close to her heart.

She was inspired to run the marathons due to the hard work of doctors and nurses who helped a critically ill friend recover in hospital after being diagnosed with a rare condition.

"I just hope people will continue to support the Victoria Hospitals Foundation because this run is a celebration of what they’re doing in this community,” says Hempler. “This run is about the people who help save lives and them getting all the equipment that they need to be able to expand critical care capacity.”

Hempler was joined throughout the day by friends, some on their bikes, others running alongside, all in support of her cause.

With one marathon completed, the runner will continue a marathon a day for the next nine days, hoping to reach her fundraising goal.

At last check she had raised almost $1,700.

The charity marathoner says that if she reaches her financial goal before she’s completed all 10 marathons, she will do an 11th marathon on the 11th day.

Runners, walkers and bikers are all welcome to join her along her route while maintaining physical distance, even if it’s only for a kilometre.

Hempler says she may move that start time to 8 a.m. starting Monday due to a sunny and hot forecast next week.

She can be found along the Galloping Goose Trail between Tillicum Road and Saanich Road. She is running a moderate pace with some walking breaks along the way.

More information about the 10 marathons in 10 days fundraiser and a link to donate are available here