Run For Mom ready to roll this Saturday

The 18th annual Run For Mom takes place this Saturday in Chilliwack. The 1, 5 or 10 km run benefits the maternity ward at CGH.

The 18th annual Run For Mom takes place this Saturday in Chilliwack. The 1

The 18th annual Run For Mom takes place this Saturday in Chilliwack. The 1

Lace up and stretch those legs to Run For Mom on Saturday, May 7.

Presented by the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation (FVHCF), the 18th annual Run For Mom event supports programs for women and children at Chilliwack General Hospital.

This year, participants have the opportunity to take part in a 1, 5 or 10 kilometre race. Starting at Canada Education Park, the event starts at 9:30 a.m and racers take off at 10 a.m.

“It’s a run that a lot of people want to come and be a part of, and we raise money for a really good cause,” said event coordinator Margaret Kostrzewa.

Every year, Run For Mom organizers ask the CGH maternity ward staff what new equipment they need or what needs updating, and the money raised through the run goes towards that equipment.

This year, event proceeds will go towards a maternal and fetal monitor for obstetrical care.

“Electronic fetal monitoring is used to monitor the baby’s heart rate while simultaneously using a pressure sensor to monitor the mother’s contractions,” said patient care coordinator Rachel D’Souza.

“[The equipment] is used for monitoring high risk pregnancies, once or twice a week during their last trimester, and also for constant monitoring in labour for moms who need close observation.”

New to this year, the 5 and 10 km races will be timed. The sanctioned races are an advantage for the serious runners who want to race against the clock, and it’s a way to encourage more runners to get involved.

But even if participants just want to walk or jog the route, it will be fun day of exercise and enthusiasm for all.

There’s always a wide age range of participants in Run For Mom. Generations of families who walk the 1 km route together, siblings who run each year for their mom, mothers running with strollers in hand, and everyone in between.

Participants are encouraged to register online as an individual, team or family in advance at rfm2016.kintera.org. Limited on-site registration will be available in the morning of the event.

Participants and the general public are also invited to enjoy the pancake brunch and entertainment by Fraser Valley band Stolen Property.

“Raising money to give new equipment to the maternity ward is really rewarding,” Kostrzewa said. “I went in to CGH and the nurses showed me all the equipment we’ve purchased over the years, and I got goosebumps.”

For those with a competitive edge, awards are available for the most funds raised, the top school, and the top first, second and third participants in the 5 and 10 km races.

Whether you’re running or walking in the race or cheering from the sidelines, Run For Mom is the perfect opportunity to spend the day with your mom for a worthy cause.

“We are grateful to the community of Chilliwack for rallying around this event and helping our moms and newborns at Chilliwack General Hospital,” D’Souza expressed on behalf of the maternity unit.

The run starts and ends at Parade Square (UFV Parking Lot #7) of Canada Education Park, located at the corner of Caen Ave. and Dieppe St.

Register, support a runner, or make a general donation online at rfm2016.kintera.org. Call 1-877-661-0314 for more information.  Runner package pick-up is at the locations listed below.

• May 5 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the FVHCF office at CGH (45600 Menholm Road) in the main lobby

• May 6 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Garrison Running Co. (#2-45590 Market Way) in Garrison Crossing

• May 7 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on site at the event