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Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend Newsletter
Current Issue: March 2013

Feature Charity

March 2013

“Running Gave Me Confidence!” – A Feature on the Y Kids Marathon and Y Kids Academy

By Albert Larochelle, 11 years old (with his sister Nicole, age 13).

In the fall of 2010, I broke my elbow and required surgery after falling off a play structure. I had a lot of pain and required physiotherapy. In Feb of 2011, my school, Saint Patrick's Elementary in Clarence-Rockland, sent a notice home to my parents about the 2011 Y Kids Marathon. My mom has become an avid runner over the past few years and my sister was excited, as she always is with sports—me not so much and with my recent injury I didn't really want to do it.

My mom said, “You can do it, everyone gets a medal.” I had never won at any sport, been on a team or excelled, unlike my sister, who can do all sports easy. So my mom signed us both up. Our school tracked our runs, which mostly were at afternoon recess, and we tracked our activities at home. My mom thought these runs were great as I was happier and grew more excited with each week of tracking my success.

When race day came, I was nervous and cranky that I had to get up so early to run, and I remember saying this was stupid. We met up with our teachers and then it was off to the start point for the pre-race warm up. That got my blood pumping. What a feeling!

I finished, however I did not do so well. It was my first race. Then Mom said, “Hey you got a medal, and we can look at your time online later.” Wow, that was pretty exciting.

I had surgery the next month and my pain was gone. I then went to summer camp at the YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region, where I was very active. I continued my activity at the Y by enrolling in a free program for grade six students called Y Kids Academy. I learned how to eat better, exercise and what cardio is. I registered for Y Kids Academy again, each time learning more and more. This is the best program.

In May 2012, I was ready for the Y Kids Marathon again. And it is great that my school and teacher Mrs. Wilson helps us; our school had about 30 kids this year! I did much better, so much better!

I have continued my training at the YMCA-YWCA in Clarence-Rockland in the pool through fun programs and using the exercise machines. This has helped win me a spot on my school cross-country team and our soccer team, which without my introduction to fitness through the Y Kids Marathon and the Y Kids Academy program would not have been possible.

I can't wait until Y Kids Marathon 2013 and to train with my friends at school!

Thanks to Albert for telling us his great story! To find out more about the Y Kids Marathon, including how to sign up for this year’s race, at All fundraising efforts from the Y Kids Marathon go to support the Y Kids Academy program.

Run Ottawa Club