Medavie Proudly Supports Legs for Literacy

Nourishing Healthy Minds and Bodies

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Megan Demmings

Megan Demmings is nearing the end of her 10-kilometre race when she spots her two-year-old son, Winston, the “world’s cutest cheerleader”, proudly waving and waiting for her at the finish line. A hug from Winston for completing the race is the best medal she could receive.

Running is truly a family affair for Megan, who, along with her father George are among an estimated 1,300 people now preparing to go the distance in this year’s Legs for Literacy, set for October 20-22. Medavie is again the title sponsor of “Greater Moncton’s premier running event”, which nourishes healthy minds and bodies by promoting healthy, active living and supporting literacy-focused initiatives in southeastern New Brunswick.

Reading Tents

One of the funding recipients of the 2022 event was United for Literacy, which used the donation to offer an eight-week Reading Tent program this past July and August in Moncton. Four Reading Tent Coordinators provided storytelling, reading, and other activities to help children have fun while learning.

United for Literacy, Reading Tent
United for Literacy, Reading Tent

Reading Tents were set up in five priority neighborhoods where families may be unable to find free, accessible, culturally relevant support. Many Reading Tent participants self-identify as newcomers, living with low income, having special needs, or as members of an historically excluded group. Reading Tents offered a welcoming space to learn and read for 345 children and parents and provided take home books to participants.

Donating Books

For 2023, United for Literacy is donating a free book to every child participating in Legs for Literacy’s family run/walk. Megan hopes that in another year or two, her son will be ready to take part in his first event.

This year, Megan is competing in her second half-marathon at this event, while it’s a first for her father. In May, Megan participated in the Blue Nose Marathon with both of her parents, George and Cathy, who are recent Medavie retirees. Until June of this year, all three worked at Medavie (title sponsor of the Blue Nose half-marathon): George as an IT administrator, Cathy as a business analyst, and Megan, who is a senior analyst with the Medication Authorization Centre’s Dental Team.

Active Family

Megan says her mother and father have always been active and served as the role models she aspires to be for her son. Running is an activity that has brought her and her father together especially. Not only do they motivate each other to train, they encourage each other to stretch their limits and take on new challenges.

Megan, who runs during her lunch break a minimum of three days a week to train, says she takes pride in seeing how far she can push herself.

“It makes you feel so strong: physically, mentally and emotionally. You can feel how powerful your body is, how dedicated you can make your mind to keep going and having a wide-open space to let go of any of life’s frustrations.”

Megan describes the hours she spends getting race ready as her “me time”, a period of self-care that was particularly important to her when she was a new mother. Her husband, Tim, a former runner, cares for Winston so she can train and compete.

In addition to family support, Megan admits that lacing up several times a week so she can stay in shape for marathons requires dedication. “You have to be persistent and consistent.”

Tips for New Runners

Below are Megan’s top tips to stay consistent and dedicated:

  1. Use an activity-tracking and motivating device like Fitbit. "It has kept me accountable."
  2. Listen to your favorite music to uplift and inspire.
  3. Pack delicious snacks to stay energized and motivated.
  4. Run outside, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy the scenery. Scenery was especially beautiful when Megan and her entire family, including a sister Kelsey who lives in Calgary, did a half marathon this summer in Banff.

Megan with her husband Tim and son Winston after completing the “Run for Women”
Megan with her husband Tim and son Winston after completing the “Run for Women”

Health Benefits

Megan appreciates both the physical and mental health benefits she has gained from running.

“It has inspired me to do so much more, to go places and to be more adventurous.”

Megan is already looking ahead to the years when running can be an all-in-the-family activity for her husband and son, just as it is now for her, her parents and sibling. For now, she’s happy to be modelling healthy, active living as they cheer her on every step of the way.

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