Home / Community  / 2018 Pride and Remembrance Run: Why I’m Running

2018 Pride and Remembrance Run: Why I’m Running

We asked five community members why they will be running the upcoming Pride and Remembrance Run…
 
Toronto’s 23rd annual Pride and Remembrance Run takes place on Saturday, June 23rd and community members across the city are in the final stretch of raising much-needed funds to help support the city’s LGBTQ+ community.
 
This year, participants will run five kilometres or walk three kilometres to help raise funds for the Women’s College Hospital Foundation, LGBT Youth Line, Canadian Lesbian Gay Archives and The Pride and Remembrance Foundation.
 
The Pride and Remembrance Association has raised more than $1.4 million for LGBTQ+ charities over the years, a feat that was largely powered by their long standing Platinum Sponsor, BMO Financial Group and the fundraising efforts of their employees. This partnership shows a strong continued commitment to promoting accessibility, inclusivity and equality in the workplace and the communities it serves.
 
Last year Team BMO was recognized as the top fundraising team for the annual run, followed closely by the IN Run Crew. This year, in anticipation of the annual run, both teams came together and laced up their running shoes to train and have a little fun in the spirit of community and Pride.
 
We asked some of the IN Run Crew and Team BMO runners why they will be running in celebration and support of the city’s LGBTQ+ community. Read on to learn more…
 
Name: Ria Ostrowski
Age: 22
Occupation: Student
 
Tell us a bit about yourself
Freshly graduated university with a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Ryerson University and currently working part time up until I have the biggest surgery of my life. I love music and art direction and hope to pursue either or both one day.
 
Is this your first year running the Pride and Remembrance Run?
Yes!
 
Why did you decide to run this year?
I’m running for all the LGBTQ+ members who are no longer with us, for the ones struggling with health (+mental health) issues, for the members who were not given a fair shot at being themselves. This run is for you.
 
What was it like training with the IN Run Crew and Team BMO?
Lots of fun! It’s been great to get to know others within the community. At the end of the day, we are all running for one cause, so it was great to see the top two fundraising teams come together for one training session!
 
This year the Pride and Remembrance Run is raising money for a variety of LGBTQ+ charities. Is there one of these organizations that are particularly important to you?
I would not want to weigh one over the other as they all provide a positive for the community I belong to. However I’d like to give a big thanks and appreciation to what the Women’s College Hospital has been achieving for trans patients over the years and their continuing research for trans healthcare.
 
Any pre-run or post run rituals?
Eat and sleeeeep.
 
Any words of encouragement for people thinking of running next year?
Running has been the best stress reliever and mood amplifier, if you feel like you want to do it… then just do it!
 

 
Name: Miguel Mendes
Age: 36
Occupation: Senior Litigation Counsel at BMO
 
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Former salsa and merengue teacher. Now a lawyer by day, photography and travel enthusiast by night. My ad exec partner Anton and I are proud dog dads to Chloe.
 
Is this your first year running the Pride and Remembrance Run?
Yes!
 
Why are you running this year?
I recently had the honour of being appointed Co-Chair of BMO Pride, a dynamic resource group that leads BMO’s ongoing efforts to ensure that every one of our LGBTQ+ employees and customers can always be their authentic selves. It was through BMO Pride that I learned about the Pride and Remembrance Run and BMO’s long standing partnership – and it was instant love! Even before I heard about how absolutely fun the run is, I knew I wanted to be there. What a unique and meaningful way to celebrate Pride, showing our colours for all to see while raising money for fantastic causes benefitting our community’s most vulnerable. Now that’s my idea of Pride.
 
Have you been training for the run?
I used to be an avid runner, but have been on a 3-year exercise hiatus that’s taken me right back to square one. In the month leading up to the Run, I finally dusted off my runners – and turned up my Gaga – and have been trying to get outside as much as I can, running a few times a week when possible. My only rule is to add a few more metres every time. It’s been painful, but I’m getting there. Hopefully I’ll make it back up to the 5km mark just in time for run day!
 
What was it like training with the IN Run Crew and Team BMO?
While I wasn’t able to lace up and join this time around, I was so inspired to see fellow members of Team BMO getting ready for the big day together with the IN Run Crew. Training together captures perfectly the spirit of diversity, camaraderie and community that’s at the very heart of the Pride and Remembrance Run.
 
Describe your perfect race day on Saturday
I dream of my running music being completely drowned out by the sounds of my family, friends, and other runners, walkers, and cheerleaders loudly celebrating our community and having a blast!
 
Any words of encouragement for people thinking of running next year?
If I can do it, anyone can!
 

 
Name: Ashkan Hobian
Age: 26
Occupation: Lifestyle Content Creator
 
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Well, I can start off by saying that I was born in Toronto and I am of Iranian decent. I came out at the age of 2- and identify as a Gay Male. I graduated from York University with a Communications degree, and Humber College with a Fashion Art diploma. I currently work in the field of content creation alongside many creative and innovative people, and I love it.
 
Is this your first year running the Pride and Remembrance Run?
It is!
 
Why are you running this year?
This year I’m running because it has taken me quite a while to feel comfortable in my skin and turning 26 this year I couldn’t feel any more like me than I do now. I’ve learned to embrace my sexuality and the amazing LGBTQ+ community. They’ve supported me so now it’s my turn to support back.
 
What was it like training with the IN Run Crew and Team BMO?
It was such an awesome experience. I met so many amazing people. It’s a community where it’s all about bringing you up and making you feel good about yourself, so it was great to train alongside one of the other teams. I loved it! 
 
This year the Pride and Remembrance Run is raising money for a variety of LGBTQ+ charities. Is there one of these organizations that are particularly important to you?
The LGBT Youth Line. I think it so important for our community to have a support system for LGBT youth where peers can be provided with support and referrals. It’s amazing because it teaches us how to support one another.
 
What do you need to help guarantee a good run?
A good playlist to get you moving, and to build that adrenaline.
 
Any words of encouragement for people thinking of running next year?
#Justdoit [Laughs]
 

 
Name: Tony D’Addario
Age: 54
Occupation: Portfolio Manager/Investment Advisor at BMO
 
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I am a native Torontonian, married with one cat. I love to travel and run.
 
Do you run regularly?
I usually run 20-40k per week, 5-10k at a time.
 
What’s your involvement in the Pride and Remembrance Run?
I am a Director of the Pride and Remembrance Run and I help coordinate Race day with the other Directors. This is my second year as Director, actively fundraising for the run. Last year over $190,000 was raised for the Pride Run in support of LGBTQ+ charities.
 
What was last year’s run like?
We all pulled together for the race and then we met in the park afterwards and had a great party as the awards were handed out. Race day was so much fun! It was so magical to see the whole community get together in an almost carnival atmosphere.
 
What was it like training with the IN Run Crew and Team BMO?
Although I missed the training, I think it was great that the IN Run Crew and Team BMO came together to train for the upcoming race. It was a great way to provide guidance and training to any novice runners; hopefully sparking inspiration to become more serious runners.
 
What’s the ideal weather for race day?
A perfect race day would include a nice 23-degree day with little wind!
 
Any plans for after the run on Saturday?
Post run we all get together and have a big lunch on a nearby patio toasting the run’s success!
 
Any words of encouragement for people thinking of running next year?
The run is such a great event. Please run next year! We all get together as one big community and celebrate life while raising money for worthy charities.
 

 
Name: Apolonia Rodrigues
Age: 24
Occupation: Sales Rep
 
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Toronto born, Ryerson grad, Real Estate professional, sometime model, animal lover and forever nerd.
 
Is this your first year running the Pride and Remembrance Run?
Yes!
 
Why are you running this year?
To be a part of the Pride community and to represent IN Magazine and our IN Run Crew!
 
This year the Pride and Remembrance Run is raising money for a variety of LGBTQ+ charities. Is there one of these organizations that are particularly important to you?
Both the Women’s College Hospital Foundation and the LGBT Youth Line are particularly close to my heart.
 
What was it like training with the IN Run Crew and Team BMO?
Amazing! Having the support and inclusive energy has really helped me adopt an appreciation for running that I never had prior to.
 
Any post-run rituals?
A photo opp or a good stretch and some chill time with the crew. [Laughs]
 
Any words of encouragement for people thinking of running next year?
To sign up and run! The run is truly an amazing way to give back to the community and connect with a group of active, caring individuals.
 

 
For more information on the Pride and Remembrance Run in Toronto and how to participate or donate, visit: www.priderun.org.
 

POST A COMMENT