A South Surrey woman single-handedly raised more than $3,000 for South Fraser Women’s Services by running her first-ever marathon.
This week, the women’s centre received the cheque from the marathon, which was completed by Barbara Ann Kisilowski who ran 44 kilometres in less than five hours on May 1. Kisilowski’s decision to run was a result of hearing a story about a domestic abuse victim who was turned away by a shelter because it was full.
“There are so many cases like this, where these women have no where to go and can’t leave the situation – I read about these cases over and over again,” said Kisiloski. “It can be your closest friend and you might not know about it. There is such a need for these shelters because they give women the choice to leave.”
Kisiloski, a brand new grandmother who declined to give her age, had been active for years but had never taken on a full marathon. In July, while training, she tore her soleus muscle – a powerful muscle in the back part of the lower leg – and was told to rest for two months. Eager to train, Kisiloski went back too early and re-injured herself, setting her back again.
“I had to be very disciplined and take two-and-a-half months off. Then I joined Peninsula Runners in the fall to help with training and it was wonderful – a really good program that got me through to accomplishing my goal,” said Kisiloski. “It was a huge, huge commitment that required mental focus and physical focus.”
After eight months of training, Kisiloski was finally ready for her marathon which raised a total of $3,455.
According to Denise Darrell, the executive director of the women’s centre, some of the money will be used for their hot-lunch program and for children’s toys at Christmas time.
Darrell said Kisiloski’s tenacious attitude had left a lasting impression.
“I was so impressed with how low key she is about about it,” Darrell wrote in an email to the Peace Arch News. “She is modest about what she did, but this woman had an injury that prevented her from running for some time and then she trained to do this. I was touched.”
According to the provincial government, 82 per cent of women residing in shelters in April 2007 were the victims of abuse. In the same study, 90 shelters reported that they had received more than 500 requests for various services including housing.
For information go to: www.sfwomensservices.com/