Saturday marathon ends months-long project to raise money for Kamloops Symphony

Marathon for the Symphony

The Kamloops Symphony's executive director ran a full-length marathon on Saturday solo, completing a project he started in August — a fundraising attempt to jog every street in the Tournament Capital.

Daniel Mills said while route planning for the past few months was logistically challenging, the project — including Saturday's marathon — was a great experience.

“The best part was definitely the support," he told Castanet Kamloops. "Having people that I care about, and different supporters of the project along the route and having them cheer me on was great."

According to Mills, the hardest part of Saturday's marathon came three-quarters of the way through the route.

“I faced some of the steepest sections of the run around then, as I had to make my way up to Sagebrush, where the theatre is," he said.

"But, thankfully, I was able to push through and I knew it was going to be over in an hour. Considering the entire project, it wasn’t that long."

The project was able to raise more than $16,000 for the KSO, beating the organization's initial goal by more than $1,000. Mills said some donations are still being counted.

Revenue streams that previously come with symphony ticket sales have been disrupted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Mills said.

“For us it’s really important to be able to continue those programs, but also engage as many musicians as possible in each one," he said.

"All the money that we’re collecting will go towards increasing the size and the number of programs we can do for the rest of this year."

While Mills ran 42.2 kilometres in just under four hours on Saturday, he covered nearly 900 kilometres over 72 days.

Mapping out his routes in advance, Mills, who is relatively new to the city, ran through residential neighbourhoods, on rural roads, and even past the city dump.

He said the project has made him more familiar with the city, and more comfortable with running in new areas. Aside from the marathon itself, he said his highlights were running in the east end of Juniper Ridge, on Rose Hill and through Dufferin.

Mills began the role of executive director for the symphony in June 2019.

Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, Mills said he is grateful to be continuing programming — and he is optimistic for the future.

“I think, and I’m hopeful that when we’re out of this, we will be taking all the best parts of this new format and combining it with the best parts of the old format to make us a stronger and more interesting organization,” he said.

“I’m of course very grateful for all the supporters, and that’s what it boils down to. Everyone who has been just cheering me on, or giving money, or both, the support from near and far has been great and I feel very glad about that.”

More Kamloops News