Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chabadnik is running marathon in honour of his late father 

There are probably not too many orthodox Jews from the Chabad Lubavitch community who excel in marathon running. This is where Mendy Wenger, a Concordia University master’s student, comes in.
“I am not sure how many orthodox Jews take part in marathons, but definitely not too many,” Wenger concedes. “I do know that there have been headlines where some Chabadniks participated in the New York Marathon in the past year or two. When I am running, I wear a running cap instead of a kippa.”

Wenger will take part in the 2011 BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 1 to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. He’ll run the 42-kilometre course in memory of his late father, Rabbi Eliezer Wenger, who lost his battle with cancer a year ago. He is already well on his way to reaching his fundraising goal of $5,000 through the support of family, friends and colleagues.

“I want to make it more than just a physical feat,” said Wenger of his first full marathon. “For me, it is an ideal chance to raise funds for this organization whose cause has affected my life so much.”

Wenger, who graduated from Concordia in 2009 with a bachelor of science degree, received the Governor General’s Silver Medal, conferred annually on the graduating undergraduate student with the best academic record.

Following his graduation, he spent a year working as an actuary with Guardian Life Insurance in New York City. It was in the Big Apple that he picked up his passion for running.

In June 2009 he ran a five-mile fundraising race for prostate cancer in New York. That experience led him to register in February 2010 for the Ottawa Half Marathon that spring. He had to withdraw due to his father’s illness. When he returned to Montreal to begin his graduate degree in mathematics last summer he began training heavily for the Montreal Half Marathon. Completing the race, he took more away from the experience than just personal satisfaction.

“As I crossed the finish line, my elation at completing my first race was only marred by the absence of my father,” he said. “I resolved to take my passion for running and use it to honour the memory of my beloved father. When I cross the finish line in May, I’ll be thinking of him, but not just him. I’ll be thinking of those people out there who are currently suffering from these illnesses. This is what I can do in his memory.”

Wenger said his training for this event has been ongoing for a couple of months already.
“It consists of four to five runs a week, mostly outdoors, plus supplementary training,” he explained. “Each week, I complete one long run and several ‘shorter’ but faster runs. At this point, my long run is anywhere between 18 and 21 miles.

“The runs and constant training can seem tough and difficult at times, especially in the bitter-cold weather conditions, but this challenge is of course no match to the challenges my father faced and the challenges and tribulations that all cancer patients face on a daily basis.

“However, running in a marathon for this worthy cause is a way I can use my own fight and determination to help others.”


Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Chaptzem! Blog