Kyle Gomez’s spur-of-the-moment gesture raised over $12,000 last year for the Free the Spirit Festival! He had committed to running 1 km for every $100 donation. After finishing his 38 km run, Kyle felt great but was amazed when pledges kept coming in days after his run.
“I was shocked, it felt really good that so many people contributed,” reflected Kyle.
Kyle raised funds in memory of longtime St.Amant Foundation supporter, Gil Robert, who passed away in 2020. Gil co-founded GNR Camping World where Kyle works today.
“I got involved because of Gil’s passing, I know he was a huge contributor to St.Amant’s Free the Spirit Festival. The money raised was through work and friends,” said Kyle.
Kyle shares another reason that motivated him to take on the challenge of running a long distance and collecting pledges.
“I didn’t just do it for the honour of Gil, I do have some friends and family who have children supported by St.Amant. I know the things that St.Amant does and I feel honoured to help out.”
Running for Kyle began in 2018, as a hobby to do during the week. And he’s just stuck to it. This year he hopes to run 50 km by running laps around the Festival site at 440 River Road on event day. He’s been training all summer
Whether you’re running a 5K or a marathon, he finds the biggest barrier is the mental aspect – be it committing to a distance or just keeping going while you’re running.
“The mental part is harder than running itself. You have to tell your body that you can keep going. The run is easy if you pace yourself, ” said Kyle.