It’s been almost five years…nearly five years since I dressed up in black light compression top and bottom, a cape and rubber cowl to run the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, my first. I never stopped to say, “I’ll do this again and again because it’s cool!” I only expected to do it the one time on that fateful Sunday.
I did that because I wanted to say “thank you” to the Hospital for Sick Kids, a place that (when I was seven years old) saved my life when I had a sudden appendix rupture. I owed them my life, as the doctors told my parents I was near death when the brought me through the ER (and explains why most of that night is a blur). I donated to the foundation over the years but it was never with my own unique way of displaying gratitude.
So deciding to make the SickKids Foundation my charity of choice for my first marathon was a no-brainer; that it would continue for the next half decade and it’s that part which was not in the cards.
After that first race, having people reach out to me through social media with the hopes of creating a team…what? Why? “Because we want to help.” That was deep; the birth of the “Justice League Runners” was so amazing that we’ve done other races around the province, just to put smiles on faces and be an example. How do you even dream that?
Now, here we are – on the verge of the team’s final race together (as well as mine). That we will will gather one last time for the new SuperPower 5k race, among other kids and adults dressed as their favourite superheroes, is very poetic and fitting. I couldn’t be more honoured that I was able to leave a unique stamp on my running career in the city that I love, running for charities that are more heroic than Batman or Superman put together. We as a society, as human beings…we can be more than what separates us, because that what makes us different has the power to unite us. That has never been more important than now; remembering that is make makes a hero super. People can really shine if they were to listen to what Batman once said, “It’s not who I am underneath, but I do that defines me.”
I loved being able to say “I’m Batman” (and not as a punchline). I loved even more that through those races. I was a part of something helping to make a difference. I met so many amazing people, people who are close friends and loved ones. I will carry all those memories for the remainder of my days.
My favourite lines from the “The Dark Knight” film sum up how I have been rewarded for what I did for five years: “Sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.” Witnessing the best of the human spirit in marathons, my faith was rewarded many times over. I will miss, but Batman can be anyone – that was the point of what I did. And I can’t wait to see who takes over for me.