Team Sunshine racing for a good cause

Canuck Place Adventure Race

Ian Jacques / Editor
June 26, 2014 01:03 PM

Team Sunshine members (back row, left to right): Courtney Starrs, Dawne Clancy, Kara Pinfold, Ayla Stockwell, Jacquie Lizee; (middle row): Gina Stockwell, Anita Flay, Jessica Huntington, Michelle Bird, Rita McQueen, Sherry Nelsen; (front row): Susan MacArthur, Jana Workman, Kellei Baker and Tanya Rezansoff. Missing from picture are Taylor Starrs, Tristin Stockwell, Tina Lawlor and Jamie Christensen.

A diverse group of Coast women is training and fundraising with a purpose — all in support of Canuck Place in Vancouver.

Team Sunshine, made up of women from across the Sunshine Coast ranging in age from 15 to 54, are preparing in earnest for the Canuck Place Adventure Race this September. Their goal is to raise $20,000. They are the first team to enter the event from the Sunshine Coast.

The Canuck Place Adventure Race is a multi-sport event that includes kayaking, mountain biking and trail running. The event will see participants paddle out to sea from Jericho Beach before taking to the trails of the UBC Pacific Spirit Park for the mountain bike and trail running segments of the race.

The Canuck Place Hospice is a special place where children spend their last days with their families. It is a 24-hour respite care facility that requires funding to make the last days of these very sick children as comfortable as possible. It also provides a place for their grieving families to stay.

“In 2011, I was living in Vancouver at the time, and a friend of mine joined the Canuck Place Adventure Race and raised over $20,000 on her own,” recalled Team Sunshine captain Tanya Rezansoff. “When it came time for the day of the race, she was stuck in Turkey and could not get back in time to race, so she contacted me and asked me to take her place. I had not even trained for this event and at that time it was a four km kayak, 30 km bike and a five km run. I finished it in three hours and 19 minutes. The minute I crossed the finish line I was hooked into doing triathlons.”

Rezansoff said she always wanted to form a team of her own, so when she moved back to the Coast, where she was born and raised, she decided she would try to inspire people here to get healthy, and tell them how great it is to cross a finish line in your life.

“So Canuck Place came up again, and that’s when I thought, hey, I need to get some girls together — and the rest is history,” she said. “I have met each and every girl on the team either through friends or work. There are eight of us who work in health care together. I design our training schedules week to week, and they consist of five days a week of training.”

Team Sunshine is challenging all local businesses on the Coast to donate $100 or more, and they will proudly put the company’s logo on a banner they will be displaying at all their fundraising events and around town.

They are having a bake sale on Canada Day where they will have two baskets to raffle off, and more fundraising plans are in the works.

Friends and family are also getting into the fundraising efforts. Julia Molina, 10, Kenzie Molina, 12, and two-year-old Sophia Reese Platt came up with the idea to donate $20 out of their piggy banks for Canuck Place and have challenged other kids as well.

“Sophia Reese Platt, our youngest donor yet, told her mom she wants to donate $25 out of her piggybank. As well, Isaac Bird, 10, and Noah Bird, eight, are also drawing up signs and collecting donations for Canuck Place. The boys are going to do the kids course, which is a 500m sail, two km bike and one km run. It’s amazing that so many people, young and old, are coming on board to help us with this cause,” Rezansoff said.

Although there are lots of women on the team, Rezansoff said they always have room for more people to enter. Those wishing to find out more can contact her through Facebook or email at tr8827@hotmail.com.

Those wishing to donate directly to the cause can do so via www.canuckplaceadventurerace.ca where you can select any Team Sunshine, teams one through six.

Look for Team Sunshine throughout the summer as they continue to fundraise and prepare for this awesome adventure.


© Coast Reporter

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