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Benard's Canadian Marathon Fund

$700 of $1,000 goal

Raised by 16 people in 3 months
Help us to enable the ultimate fairytale underdog story in elite Canadian sport.

Every now and then someone very special enters my life with a gift that shines as bright as sunlight. We all possess the ability to do something special with our lives, but some individuals are more than this, they are here to show the rest of us what is possible at the limits of what is achievable in certain circumstances. My name is Malc Kent, I’m a full time consultant in human performance, a former world class elite athlete, professional coach, scientist and expert in running biomechanics and strength training. My life’s work is helping high potential individuals in sport, develop their talents to their fullest so that they can inspire and motivate others.

3 years ago I met Benard Onsare, a Kenyan born immigrant to Canada that had a clear stand out talent for running marathons. Benard is originally from a small town in south west Kenya called Kisii. It’s not known for running but rather for its beautiful soap stone products. From a young age Benard battled his way through life, grinding through a challenging rural farming upbringing with 6 siblings, often going without enough food, surviving malaria when other children around him didn’t and earning a hard fought education (at a school requiring a 20km run each way) that allowed him a way out of poverty and to travel abroad.

Benard’s talent in running was evident from his results in Kenyan provincial cross country races as a teenager. As an adult Benard moved to France to race on the European circuit achieving a personal best in the half marathon of 62 minutes (Paris, 2003). On following his coach Gord Dickson to Canada, Benard found himself in Ontario and then Calgary. Based in Calgary Benard tried to maintain his marathon training but ultimately had to prioritise working over aspirations of running success. For the past 3 years I have helped Benard fight through the lows of serious achilles injury, a lack of money for necessary treatment, a lack of support from running groups and organisations, the heart ache of having his family (that he always sends money home to, to help them) on a different continent and the knowledge that his talent could not come to any useful good because he was trapped in a work-to-live lifestyle that stood between him and his dreams of running competitively at a high level.


[Benard taking his first cross country race win in Kenya]

Meanwhile for the past 4 decades Canadian men’s marathoning has stood still, stuck in the mud and in some cases even receding backwards. As it stands today the men’s marathon record of 2:10:09 is now 42 years old and the 4 best marathon runners in the country are all injured or retiring. This year the fastest Canadian time at the national championships was a full 15 minutes slower than the best time in the world. And with less than 3 years until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics it’s not clear whether Canada will have any domestically trained runners that will be able to meet the Olympic qualifying time required in order to represent the country.

I believe whole heartedly without doubt or hesitation that Benard is on paper the most talented marathon runner in the country right now. And that he has the ability to make the Canadian Olympic marathon team and break the long standing national record. I also believe that he has the charisma and magnetic personality required to connect to millions of runners across the country and inspire runners of all ages and levels as a role model for what is possible against all the odds and numerous difficult life challenges.


[Benard on his way to breaking the long standing course record for the Calgary Marathon]

I believe in Benard’s potential so much so that I am willing to coach him with unrelenting commitment until he reaches his career goals, no matter the ups and downs. And I’m not alone. If we can raise enough money to make this goal a reality I will also team up with former world class marathoner and renowned endurance coach Jon Brown. Together myself and Jon will guide Benard through the training required to make the Olympics and achieve the sub 2:10 goal.


[Benard after winning the Niagara Falls Marathon in 2012]

Ultimately Benard chose to make Canada his long term home and earlier this year confirmed his allegiance to this country as a newly minted citizen. He believed in what was possible here. With your support he could show runners across the country that what he believed and what other immigrants alike also believe, is in fact doable at the very highest level. With your help he can become a flag bearer for Canadian solidarity and fighting spirit. Against all the odds, no matter how tough the climate, no matter how much the underdog you can realise your dreams in a Canadian shirt.


[Benard performing charity work by sending shoes collected from Calgary runners to Kenya for kids to use]

Funds raised will be used to:

>Subsidise Benard’s living costs during focused training
>Pay for travel and entry expenses for races
>Subsidise medical treatment supporting his training
>Purchase equipment necessary to fulfill the training requirement

More inspiring links:

Benard’s Soundcloud Podcast:(Benard’s story)

CTV News Piece: (Benard’s charity work)

Globe And Mail Article: (trying to train on a tiny budget)

Scotiabank Marathon Video: (Benard’s hopes for representing Canada)
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Huge thanks to everyone that donated to Benard's fund. Benard's training is back online and his next target race will be the Ottawa marathon in May. We will use the kind donations to help get him there so that he can be on the start line and run a time that can put him inline for federation funding.
+ Read More

$700 of $1,000 goal

Raised by 16 people in 3 months
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RW
$100
Ross Weaver
2 months ago
BF
$50
Byron Frederick
2 months ago
BO
$50
Benard Onsare
2 months ago
DC
$88
Darrell C
2 months ago
$30
Anonymous
3 months ago
AC
$47
Annie Chong
3 months ago
KR
$50
Kari Rose
3 months ago
$50
Anonymous
3 months ago
$30
Malc Kent
3 months ago
$50
Anonymous
3 months ago
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