The Under Armour Eastside 10K brings a real sense of community to runners, and fundraising support for the DTES. We are proud to be one of six charity partners for this year’s event.

PHS Community Services Society staff are individually participating in the Eastside 10K to raise funds for the programs and services we provide.

The Under Armour Eastside 10K has become one of the most popular races in Vancouver, taking runners away from the Seawall to plunge through the historic heart of the city. Like last year, the event will take place virtually, September 1 – 30.

With the flexibility to choose when and where you run, this is the perfect goal that keeps participants motivated throughout the summer. For the vast majority of runners, it isn’t about winning so much as beating personal best times, and running for their charity of choice.

Dr. Christy Sutherland

The PHS top fundraiser is Medical Director Dr. Christy Sutherland, who took up running a few years ago specifically to enter this event.

“I’ve never been a runner before, but when PHS partnered with the Eastside 10K I was keen to start training.  It has been amazing to raise money for the neighbourhood while participating in a big event that takes place in the community.

“I love working in the Downtown Eastside to help create new ways to deliver primary care and addiction medicine embedded inside harm reduction and housing projects.”

Dr. Sutherland is more competitive about money raised than her running times. This year she tops the leaderboard, having collected $1,300 in pledges before the event is even under way.

“I’ve been one of the top fundraisers each year that I’ve run, and I want to continue my winning streak,” she said.

Run to overcome stress

Meanwhile, PHS runner Senior Housing Manager Jen Lapierre runs most mornings before her workday begins to beat stress, and help quit smoking.

“I run every morning from Nora Hendrix Place before the start of my shift,” she said. “I’ll arrive an-hour-and-a-quarter early so I can run 40 or 50 minutes, shower, and be at work on time.

“I’ve always run. I was in the track and field club at elementary school.

“I basically run for my mental health. It reduces stress and makes things easier. Also, I don’t smoke when I’m into running, and it’s been six months since I quit.”

This will be her first year in the Under Armour Eastside 10K, and she’s hoping to come in under the hour mark.

Make a difference

Jen might complete her 10 kilometers on a Sunshine Coast trail, her favourite running environment, or she might come into Vancouver to accompany two Nora Hendrix Place colleagues, Alex Coburn and Jaye Njie. Alex coordinates the day shift and Jaye works nights, but they all meet up at shift changeover.

“I want to make all staff aware that our jobs can be really difficult at times, but running helps deal with the stress and keeps you going,” said Jen. “It’s a form of self-care.”

Running has been one of the fastest-growing sports through the pandemic, along with cycling and golf, as it improves physical and mental health. Not a runner? Don’t worry – you can walk, stroll, skip, dance, OR you can make a donation to the race without moving a muscle

We hope you can help us reach our goal of $3,000 and support our dedicated runners!

PHS Medical Director Dr. Christy Sutherland