A trio of young Aldergrove women have taken the challenge of the Concrete Hero urban obstacle course this Sunday. Benefiting the BC Cancer Foundation, it is the first charitable event of its kind in Canada.
When Aldergrove sisters Vanessa and Justine Horner and their friend Maria Andreatta heard about Concrete Hero, they initially thought it a unique way to stay in shape and challenge themselves.
The Horner sisters’ mother had brought home a pamphlet about the event from her gym, and because their friend Maria had participated in a similar event last year called the Warrior Dash, she gave the pamphlet first to Maria.
Maria had enjoyed the Warrior Dash so much that she signed on and recruited Justine and Vanessa to join her.
“It’s a seven kilometre course with six major obstacles, such as climbing over buses and cars and crossing a lagoon on monkey bars,” said Maria. She is the team’s captain.
“It sounds like fun, for a good cause — and we’ll try to do it gracefully,” said Vanessa, with a laugh.
“Vanessa and I have known Maria for about 10 years, since she started dating our brother, and we have done a lot of things together,” said Justine. “We went to Vegas together, so we thought why not do this event together.”
All three women are active in such things as hot yoga, cross-fit and running. Vanessa also plays division 2 soccer and Maria recently started boxing.
However, realizing it is a fundraiser benefiting the BC Cancer Foundation, the Aldergrove residents found even greater significance in the event as the sisters’ grandfather is a cancer survivor and Maria’s grandmother also battled the disease.
Justine is also a registered nurse and routinely deals with cancer patients at the hospital.
The innovative fundraiser will draw thousands of British Columbians to scale massive obstacles and race along Vancouver’s streets and alleyways in support of the BC Cancer Foundation and leading-edge cancer research in B.C.
“We are absolutely thrilled about our first ever Concrete Hero,” said Douglas Nelson, President and CEO of the BC Cancer Foundation.
“This year alone, over 24,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer in B.C. The BC Cancer Foundation is on a bold mission to dramatically improve the lives of those diagnosed with cancer by supporting world-class cancer research at the BC Cancer Agency. We designed Concrete Hero specifically to engage people from all walks of life to become heroes in their community by completing a 7-km race while raising vital funds for life-saving cancer research initiatives,” Nelson said.
Concrete Hero will incorporate a mix of iconic British Columbian landmarks, which are replicated as obstacles along the course route. Participants will leap over dozens of cars and climb several buses in the “Lions Gate Lockdown,” swing over the muddy waters of “Lost Lagoon,” climb nearly two stories over the “Chief,” in addition to several other urban-themed obstacles along a 7-km, chip-timed route through the streets and alleyways of downtown Vancouver.
The event will end with an urban-style block party in downtown Vancouver.
“Three years ago, I was healthy, fit and strong when doctors diagnosed me with stage four head and neck cancer,” said Kevin Cameron, of Coquitlam.
“My only hope was extremely aggressive chemo and radiation therapy at the BC Cancer Agency. The treatment reduced my body weight drastically but it saved my life. To celebrate my two years in remission, I registered for Concrete Hero to test my newly regained strength and more importantly, to raise vital funds for groundbreaking research,” Cameron said.
“I want to personally invite all British Columbians to join us September 29 for our first ever Concrete Hero. Talk with your friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues, and encourage each to register today. Visit www.concretehero.ca or call 604-488-HERO (4376),” Nelson said.
To register, donate or receive more information on Concrete Hero, visit www.concretehero.ca or call 604-488-HERO (4376).