North Vancouver 15-year-old runs solo marathon for local hospital

How would you feel about running more than 42 kilometres at mid-day under the hot August sun?

How about doing it with just two months of training?

That’s exactly what Owen Ostler did on Saturday, raising more than $10,000 for the Lions Gate Hospital Foundation.

Read more: B.C. teen finishes ultramarathon for food bank after brief hospitalization

The North Vancouver 15-year-old had initially hoped to raise $1,000.

“We blew it out of the water,” he said after completing the solo marathon at North Vancouver’s Mahon Park.

The money will be directed to help build a new critical care unit at the hospital, Ostler said.

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“I never know if someone I know is going to need the help one day. And it’s always good to help out.”

Emotional end for B.C. ultra-marathon runner Darius Sam

Emotional end for B.C. ultra-marathon runner Darius Sam

Ostler’s mother Collette said the teen came up with the idea during the COVID-19 lockdown as a way to challenge himself while helping the community.

He only started training on June 1.

“It’s a huge personal challenge to get from zero to a marathon in two months,” she said.

“We were pretty excited, we wanted to encourage him, but a little cautious as parents too — to try and hope it all turns out well. I’m really excited how it’s all turned out.”

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While many people might have tuned in to some high tempo music while laying down those training kilometres, Ostler took a different approach.

His listening choice was the audiobook version of You Can’t Hurt Me, a book by former Navy SEAL and ultra-marathoner David Goggins.

“If you want to make a change you have to think big and you have to commit fully,” he said.

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