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Victoria Lavigne is planning to run 100 kilometres in one day, from Ottawa to her hometown of Hawkesbury, to raise funds to donate to charities that work to combat socioeconomic issues that affect mental health. Submitted photo

Young woman plans to run 100 km in one day to raise funds for mental health awareness

A young woman from Hawkesbury will be running 100 kilometres in one day from Ottawa back to her hometown to raise funds for charity.

Victoria Lavigne plans to run from her home in Ottawa to her hometown of Hawkesbury on October 10. She has started a GoFundMe page, in order to raise $10,000 to donate to various charities that work to combat ongoing socioeconomic issues that affect mental health. As of August 22, the fund had already reached a total of $1,326 in donations.

The 24-year-old, who attended Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute, is making the run in memory of her father Guy Lavigne. Victoria, who suffered mental health issues of her own after losing her father when she was just 10 years old, will complete the run at his graveside.

“He was bi-polar – he suffered and fought for many, many years,” said Lavigne, who believes her father will be accompanying her on the run. “I know he would be proud.”

Lavigne will be running down Innes Road, through Cumberland and then down County Road 17 into Hawkesbury.

“I want to stay on the roadways, just to attract more attention and light to the run,” she said.

Running 100 kilometres in one day is a huge task. While she has the support of friends and family, including her mother Bonnie McCaskill, Lavigne is also looking for sponsors to provide water, food and even shoes.

“I’ve gone through a lot of shoes,” she laughs. “I’ve been training since March, running five times a week.”

“It’s teaching me how much my body can do when my mind believes in it. It’s been a pretty amazing experience.”

Lavigne will begin her run from her home in the South Keys area of Ottawa at 3 a.m. on October 10 and hopes to be in Hawkesbury by 7 p.m. She plans to run 12 to 20 kilometres in stages, with 20 minute breaks and will be posting updates on her Facebook page as the run proceeds.

“We will have checkpoints along the way, which I will post about so that people can come out there and cheer me on to give me that extra boost to keep going.”

Lavigne lost her father Guy due to mental health issues when she was just 10 years old. Submitted photo

Reid Masson

Reid Masson is a graduate of Algonquin College's Journalism Program. He has over 20 years of experience as a staff writer and editor for various newspapers across Canada, including The Ottawa Citizen and Brockville Recorder and Times.

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