Forever 43 Memorial Run | Jaala van Dongen

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By Carolyn Coffin and Kim Senechal, Carolyn Coffin, and Kim Senechal. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Jaala van Dongen is a 41-year-old mother of three from La Broquerie, MB, who recently completed her first ultramarathon. She didn’t train for it nor did she have more than a couple week’s notice, but after hearing the devastating news that she’d lost her older brother to suicide, she knew she had to tackle something challenging in his honour. Jaala decided on 43-miles, one mile for every year of Jonathan Ross’ life as a way of mourning his loss and raising awareness about depression so that others can be spared from the pain and heartache her family is now going through. Dubbed Forever 43, Jaala partnered with Eden Health Care Services and managed to raise over $3300 on October 24th while running the same 3-4 mile loop for 6:40:35 with members of her community, including complete strangers who’d come out to support her cause.

Jaala is no stranger to running, but a marathon was the furthest she’d ventured before this ambitious undertaking. She had recently placed 5th at the 2021 Manitoba Marathon in a speedy time of 3:24:42, and she’d won the 5K provincial cross country championships the day before Forever 43. This April, if all goes well, Jaala will be fulfilling her dream of running the Boston Marathon for the very first time.

This is a very powerful and important episode, so feel free to share it widely. In Jaala’s words, if you or someone you know is suffering with mental illness please know you aren’t alone and you can reach out for help. And now onto our conversation with Jaala van Dongen.

Resources we discussed in the episode:

  • Donate to Jaala's Forever 43 Run
  • Favourite Mantra: You can do this!
  • Favourite Place to Run: Wherever she is on vacation
  • Bucket List Race: Boston Marathon (or any of the Abbott World Major Marathons)
  • Favourite Running Book/Movie: Barkley Marathons, Breaking 2
  • Favourite Post Run Indulgence: Large coffee

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