An avid runner from Woodstock with a heart condition will be running for the Heart and Stroke Foundation from Tobermory to Niagara.
WOODSTOCK - A Woodstock man will be running to raise money and awareness for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Brett Opthoff's journey will begin on August 31st and take him, in what he hopes, is under 16 days. The run will go from Tobermory to Niagara, reaching a total distance of 898 km along the Bruce Trail. On the run, a team of volunteers will be collecting funds for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Opthoff was born with a heart defect and he has spent the last seven years in and out of the hospital, dealing with multiple strokes.
He says he wants to make a difference.
"The reason why I'm doing this is just because I've had a lot of experience on both sides of the case of having open heart surgery, a series of strokes, over the course of five years now. And I've had other family members go through the same situation, like my father and various other family members and friends."
Opthoff also added that he has had multiple setbacks while he's been training.
"It's been kind of like a slow process to be honest just because I had my series of strokes back in October. That was all brought on, like a blood infection, just through medical procedure. So it's kind of a few months of recovery dealing from the strokes, the concussion, the blood infection and then when that was all cleared up I could slowly build up a one run kilometre distance to weekly kilometres, to monthly kilometres just trying to build up the endurance, the distances to do this run and then kind of train my body too. I don't have to carry that extra weight, I'm going to be going at a slower pace so your body needs to adjust to that. So right now I'm up to a marathon level and now it's going to be pushing that to the ultra-marathon level, so over the next couple months I'll be doing that."
He has currently raised just under $2,000.00.
For anyone interested in donating to his cause, more information can be found on his website. And make sure to also follow him on Instagram at @irunhikeforheartandstroke.