‘Just one more step’: Okanagan athlete runs 25 consecutive hours to fight human trafficking

Click to play video: 'Okanagan athlete runs around the clock for a cause'
Okanagan athlete runs around the clock for a cause
An Okanagan ultra-endurance athlete is on a mission to help change the world, one incredible run after another. Sydney Morton caught up with Savannah Holmes as she recovers from her 25-hour run. – Dec 7, 2023

If you could make a difference in a stranger’s life, would you? For Savannah Holmes, the answer is yes.

Holmes, an ultra-endurance athlete from Kelowna, B.C., laced up to run for 25 consecutive hours to raise funds and awareness to help the Servants Anonymous Foundation, which supports women around the world escaping human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

“A lot of the time it was just one more step,” said Holmes.

“I knew I had to do 10 loops an hour so I was just counting a lot of the time and I just kept picturing the girls that I was doing this for and that seemed to be enough.”

Holmes started running laps at Kelowna’s Ben Lee Park Dec. 2 at 9 a.m. and finished her feat the next day at 10 a.m. Holmes had pacers to run with her in shifts as well as a support team on the sidelines to help her receive the nutrients she needed to keep going.

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“I didn’t do a single hour by myself and we were all suffering as a collective and I think when you situate yourself in that discomfort it really evokes emotion in other people,” Holmes said.

“My hope is that when people see the effort that I am willing to go it makes the pain of donating (money) a little less.”

For nine of the 25 hours, Kirstin Fisk was there to cheer on Holmes.

“By the end of her run, everybody was just in tears, it was just so wonderful. We knew how much she had put into it, and we knew how much collectively everybody was working together and it was moving,” Fisk said.

So far Holmes has raised $7,000 for the Servants Anonymous Foundation and an anonymous donor has matched her total. However, she’s still accepting donations as she recovers from the extreme achievement.

“It was pretty minimal physical damage overall. I tore my lungs, which is unexpected, but for the impact that we did, it was 150 kilometres covered,” Holmes said.

“I am actually feeling pretty good and we are on the road to recovery.”

In that recovery, Holmes is already planning her next extreme physical challenge for a good cause.

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