Arthritis runner exceeds pledge goal

Since she started collecting pledges in mid-October, Cathy Kowal has been aiming to raise $5,000 to make it to a marathon run for arthritis in Florida in January.
Now, a little over a month later, it looks like she will be going to Walt Disney World given she’s exceeded her goal–and has no intention of stopping there.
“I’m at $5,100 and I’m still getting mail-ins,” Kowal enthused last Thursday. “It’s great. I’m going to keep on going [and] hopefully, I’ll reach even $6,000.
“After all, the money goes back to the local Arthritis Society,” noted Kowal. “The community has been so supportive. It’s awesome.”
With the marathon slated Jan. 7 in Orlando, Kowal is keeping focused on the 42-km run ahead of her.
“Now I’m training even more,” she said. “The winter weather is a factor now. The weather down there isn’t going to be like it is here so what I have been doing is running on a treadmill indoors.”
Kowal still is averaging about 70-80 km a week, with her longest single run now being 35 km. Back on Oct. 24, her best single run was 21 km.
She will be one of 90 Ontario women–and just one of three from Northwestern Ontario–running in the marathon.
Kowal has adopted local resident Melvin Haukaas as her “arthritis hero.” Haukaas was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1975, and he regularly has to make trips to Thunder Bay for treatment of recurring aches, pains, and physical disability.
Pledges, which are to be made out to the Arthritis Society, still can be sent to Box 204-4, R.R. #2, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3M3.