Meet the Runners
Allison is not alone in her fight. Together, we are running in support of Allison.
Since Allison received her diagnosis a year ago, we have heard countless, incredible stories of how she has impacted the lives of those around her. Some of these stories were highlighted as part of the 2020 DUNN With Cancer run. We encourage anyone who will be running with Allison this September to share your story with us (or reshare the story you told last year) by contacting us directly.
I have a vivid memory of a cross-country race in high school. Allison was in grade 12, I was in grade 11. We were racing in Etobicoke and me, being in the Senior Men category, was the final race of the day. It was an especially tough course that featured "the Hill" - a mountain that doesn't need to go by any other name. The race was the hardest of the season.
Now, neither Allison or I would call myself the fastest on the team. Crowds that were focused on the lead pack were often packing up their tents when I was rounding the final corner. But not Allison. With less than 500 meters to go and no energy left in my tank, I remember seeing her standing in a dispersed crowd, waiting to cheer me on so energetically. And as I passed her, all Allison said to me was "see those two up there? Catch them." With that, I took a deep breath, put my head down, and did what she told me to do.
This is one of the countless stories that shows two of Allison's best qualities as a sister and as a friend. She cares so deeply about everyone in her life and pushes them to be better people. I've had many conversations with her friends and family on how strong of a fighter Allison is. But what is important to highlight is that her fighter mentality is often directed towards making the lives around her better.
So why am I running? Allison - It is hard to put into words how positively you've impacted my life. I am running this race with you in hopes that it begins to show my appreciation in everything you have taught me - the strength, caring and determination that you live by every day, how you make everyone around you better and how you positively impact the people and causes you touch.
Why am I Running for Allison?
The answer is quite simple to me and there are 2 major reasons.
First off is running has been a common interest and passion that Allison and I have shared. Especially with the events happening in life at this time, running is the ONLY time it feels that I can clear my head and focus on specific things that matter the most. I LOVE the feeling right now of going for long runs and having so many thoughts and memories of Allison. I think about the countless runs we have attended together, but even the daily memories our family has had. A 100 km run is the perfect way to stay focused on Allison with something that we both love.
Secondly, just as everyone who knows Allison, I am inspired by her. Before this awful cancer journey, I was inspired by her passion for life, family and being the best woman and mother she could be. Now I am even more inspired by Allison in her fight and legacy she has left during this cancer fight. Allison is a fighter and I think the best way to honour her, is to personally challenge myself to a new level, which is running 100km. Whoever knows Allison knows she would be up for the challenge and will be there with us that day too.
Allison and I have always shared a love of running. In fact, like many other things she inspired my love of running. Our first runs together were on the River Shannon when we were on exchange at the University of Limerick in Ireland. Since then we have gone on countless runs and walks together in multiple countries. Our friendship grew through running and today 12 years later, Allison remains one of my best friends.
Everyone who knows Allison, knows that she is the kindest and most loving human being and would do anything to help her family, friends, or even strangers. Now, it is our time to help and show our support to Allison. On September 19th, I will be running a half marathon for Allison. Leading up to race day, I will be training with ‘my bob stroller’ (which Allison researched and insisted I get) and raising money to support brain cancer research and join in Allison’s fight against brain cancer.
Allison was one of my closest friends. Her energy and passion for life was contagious since the day I met her during first year university. I've had some of my best memories in life with her by my side.
Our shared love of running was one of many things we had in common. Running through Waterloo subdivisions, Toronto streets, and the Boyds’ cottage are all places we’ve been together.
Running is a way I continue to feel connected with her and keep her alive in my heart. The energy and strength shown by her family, friends and community at last year’s race reminds me how much of a positive impact she’s had on so many lives. I’m looking forward to running again and being a part of the fight for a cure.
do you want to run with Allison?
That Dam Hill will take place in Springbank Park, London, ON on September 18th, 2021.
There will be a 5km Run/Walk in memory of Allison (at no cost), in addition to a spectator BBQ. Timed races are available, which you can sign up through the That Dam Hill website. The timed races include:
- Half marathon
- Marathon (relay)
- 24 hour (relay)
- 5km race
We encourage anyone who is running with the Dunn With Cancer team to reach out to us to be featured on our Runners page. If you wish to be part of the team, please reach out to us directly.
When we were kids Allison and Andrea were in charge of coming up with games and activities for all of the cousins to take part in during our get togethers. At a young age, Allison already had developed many of the traits that you all know her so well for; loving to spend time around family, organizing activities/events, and getting to be competitive at the same time. There were relay games, spud, laffy taffy, the list can go on and on. But what was most important was the time we all got to spend together.
I don’t claim to be a runner, it has never been something that I have liked or enjoyed, ever. Last year I shared that the most I had previously run is whatever is required for you to pass high school gym class. I can’t claim to have run the entire 5k last year, but there was definitely equal parts running and walking, maybe a slight edge on the running side. I am sincerely looking forward to taking part again with all of you in September. You won’t find me in any of the timed or marathon races, but I will be on the course walking and running. And I vow to be one of the loudest members of the cheering section for the other racers. Just like Allison, who was a cheerleader for so many, always pushing them towards being their best.