Suiting Up for Charity at Harry’s Spring Run Off

Rounding Corner

I have two great passions in life: style and running. I never thought I’d have the chance to merge the two until recently, when I raced Harry’s Spring Run Off wearing a suit to raise $685 for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.

(And I did it — without chafing.)

The idea began innocently enough. After two years volunteering at the annual race for prostate cancer awareness and one injury-riddled attempt before that, I was determined to finally complete the season opener through High Park. I signed up early with a plan to race the eight kilometre distance as hard as I could. As the April 4 date drew nearer, however, my girlfriend convinced me to consider a time-honoured race tradition as well.

Ever since men’s clothier Harry Rosen became the race’s title sponsor, men and women have been lining up at the starting block sporting their most stylish kits. I took the plunge (because suits) and turned the effort into a way to raise donations for the run’s sponsoring charity. In roughly two weeks, my generous donors, listed below, offered up more than twice my original fundraising goal. I’m honoured to know such incredible people.

Then came race day. I wore a navy two-piece (H&M), microfloral shirt (Mexx), striped knit necktie (Mexx) and topped it off with a white silk pocket square (GotStyle). A pair of New Balance 1500s pulled together all the blues I had going on, while a handful of carefully hidden safety pins pulled the outfit together in a more literal way. It was much more comfortable than I had anticipated — I guess that’s how it works with a suit that fits.

The race, on the other hand, was tough to say the least. The course owes its legendary difficulty to several rollers ending in the mother of all inclines: a 400-metre climb up Spring Road Hill. As I ran, the route gave me harrowing flashbacks to another challenging and hilly road race I had finished a week earlier — Around The Bay 30K. Seeing my cheering friends and teammates from Pace & Mind and Tribe Fitness, however, dispelled any negative thoughts I had and helped carry me to a chip time of 35:15. It felt amazing to finally earn that medal.

None of it would have been worth it without the cause I was running for. Thanks again to these amazing people who made donations to the PMCF: the Pettinato, Moreau and MacIntosh families; Adriana and Paola of Santo Pecado catering; Lisa of Toronto Fit Mom; Andy from back home; Jason from Tribe; Mary; my brother Matt and, of course, mom.

If you’re so inclined, the PMCF accepts donations here. Check out more photos of my race below!

Header and gallery photos by Koray Salih, feature image by Inge Johnson

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