"A GOOD DAY
is when I run, and a great day is when I get someone else to run with me,” says Wayne Westby, a 35-year-old husband and father of two from Oakville, Ont. Wayne’s day job is installing and maintaining telecommunication networks. In his free time, he enjoys training for and running marathons. In 2009, he ran for the first time as a member of Team World Vision in Big Sur, California. Since then he’s run two more times with the team, bringing in a total of $9,000 for clean water projects and food relief in Africa. But those figures don’t include the new sponsors Wayne is responsible for.
His most recent race for the team came in November last year, in Dallas, Texas. In the run-up to the race, Wayne collected 44 sponsorships—one for every kilometre of the race plus two extras. Wayne, whose family also sponsors three children, travelled to Malawi and Mozambique this past summer and met 37 of the children he helped get sponsored. Meeting them was a great feeling, similar to how he feels when he runs—an activity that combines the outdoors and a sense of community. “People may be encouraged and inspired to start running,” Wayne says. “Or they may just be inspired to give to your cause. Both are good!”
Wayne has certainly inspired his two daughters to get in on their dad’s activity. Katharine, 4, and Natalie, 5, have both been in Terry Fox Runs and other fun runs. When Wayne travels, he makes sure to plot a run wherever he is. But his best marathon time came closer to home: in a race in Mississauga in 2011, Wayne clocked in at three hours and 17 minutes. He always tells first-time runners, “Whenever you run your first marathon, you’re guaranteed a personal best.”
And he thanks his church, the Meeting House, for helping him reach his best in life. “Both the pastoral staff and the small group that meets in our home every Monday have provided so much support and encouragement.”
This article originally appeared in the Winter 2013/14 issue of Childview.