Cape Breton's first ultramarathon set for August
Event organized by runner in memory of his mother
A marathon runner from North Sydney, whose mother died of ovarian cancer, said his mother's strength of character inspired him to organize Cape Breton's first ultramarathon in her name.
Craig Nagels' mother, Linda, died last year after a seven-year battle with cancer.
"Watching my mom go through cancer and chemotherapy and these things, I would see the strength of character that she had," he told CBC News.
"That strength of character is something that you need in long distance running and thus it kind of got me intrigued with ultramarathons."
Ultramarathons are sporting events that involve running or walking longer than the standard marathon of 42 kilometres.
Nagels' event will be called LOU 52, which stands for Linda's ovarian ultra. The 52 represents the distance of the 52-kilometre run.
Nagels said the marathon is a way to cope with the loss of his mother.
"It's almost cathartic in a way, I think with my family as well. It's something we're able to do as a tribute, a way of us remembering her," he said.
"I think when someone passes away, you worry they're going to be forgotten. It's just our way of remembering her and we always remember the special person that she was."
Jason Nagels, Craig Nagels' brother, is also getting involved in the run but said he's not a long-distance runner.
"At first I had no idea what an ultramarathon was. I had to look it up," he said.
"I thought a 50-kilometre or 52-kilometre run kind of pales in comparison to all that she had to go through and that's what I was thinking. The longest I've run is five kilometres so we'll see how I make out, but that's where I got the motivation from."
Craig Nagels said another goal of the race is to raise awareness about ovarian cancer.
In addition to the race name, Linda Nagels' spirit and zest for life will be part of the race's sweet finish.
"When each person finishes they're going to receive a piece of chocolate cake. It's not just any chocolate cake, it's my mom's secret recipe," he said.
The LOU 52 ultramarathon is set for Aug. 24 on the Trans Canada Trail in Inverness.