The 28th Squamish Fall Classic road run was almost a no-go this year.
But then Linda McHale stepped forward to organize it around a special cause.
The 5/10 km run (or walk) has now become a fundraiser for the Angela James Memorial Scholarship. Angela James, a Squamish resident, died of cancer in April. James started to have lower back pain in 1996 and was in pain for six years before she was diagnosed with a benign tumour in 2002. In 2003, after having surgery, the tumor reappeared as malignant.
McHale, a friend of James, started the scholarship fund in her memory and to acknowledge James' love of education.
"I know education was important," McHale said.
The scholarship will be offered to graduating high school students in this year and again in 2008, the same years James' son and daughter graduate from Howe Sound Secondary.
Those peer groups were picked because those some of those students knew James, McHale said.
"Her children's friends were important to her and education was important to her," McHale said.
And it is an acknowledgment of the concern of those friends.
"People forget about kids and those kids where so supportive," when James' was sick McHale said.
"When I think of Angela, I think of her with this beautiful smile on her face," McHale said. "She was a friend, and she was the most positive person about everything."
Choosing the run as a fundraiser also tied it into another one of James' passions.
"She was a runner, it was her love," McHale said. "That's why these two fit so well. She talked about running after she couldn't run anymore."
The criteria for the scholarship haven't been finalized yet, but one thing has been decided.
"We did decide one of the main criteria will be a student who has overcome adversity," McHale said. "That's a broad term because it can mean anything."
The scholarship will go to a student who is pursuing a post-secondary education. All the money raised from the run will go into the scholarship.
The run starts at 9 a.m. on Nov. 21 at Howe Sound Secondary. The 10 km and 5 km are open to walkers, runners and joggers, and there is an award for the school with the most participants. Register online at www.squamishtitans.com, or pick up entry forms at Billie's Bouquet, Cut 'n Loose, McDonald's, Sea to Sky Ocean Sports, Brennan Park Recreation Centre and the Eagle Run Coffee Company.
McHale said James would be thrilled with the scholarship. "Anything to help people, that's her whole spirit."