For the second year, Boarding for Brant held its 21 K Memorial Run in Memory of Brant Holenstein.
There were over 30 runners as well as 10 walkers of all ages in attendance.
Anita Marshall was the main organizer again this year as well as a participant in the event. She kicked off the run several years ago to keep his memory alive with a series of 21 km runs for 21 days in a row.
Holenstein was a talented young snowboarder with a generous spirit who died in a farm accident in 2013. Following his loss, friends and family set up the not-for-profit Boarding for Brant program to help those who might need help in the pursuit of their sporting dreams.
He was a very good model of generosity and the mission of the group is, “to provide sports gear, lift passes, lessons, and sponsorships for camps to those who otherwise could not afford the experience, as well as supporting various events and contributions within our community.”
Recently the program has supported someone to attend the Camp of Champions snowboard camp in Whistler.
“It has also provided ski equipment for some youth, provided lift passes. There is no one thing we say no or yes to. We provide for individuals, not groups,” according to Marshall.
“We want to support youth in our community who are keen to participate like Brant did but can’t afford to,” she said.
This year’s run started at the Farmers’ Market and was designed to last a variety of loops that could add up to the 21 km distance that has been run in the past.
“The run is important for me because he was my nephew and he inspired me to run the 21 km. For Brant’s parents, it’s a great way to have him honoured because he was such a great guy. He was loved by so many people,” said Marshall.
The event is now in its third year including Marshall’s first run, and has led to the development of new friendships and special relationships.
For example, Jason Louie is in town for a co-op assignment for the summer and found out about it online. He’s gearing up for a marathon and decided to participate as part of his training.
Another runner is from a little further away. Richard Martin is from Clarkesville, Tenn.
It’s just north of Nashville, according to Martin. He’s retired at this point and said he was in the military and health care administration.
“I was travelling with a camper and went through Smithers and found out about the run. I wanted to check it out. Smithers is wonderful. It’s very active, very friendly,” he said.
According to Marshall this year’s run raised around $550.