It started out pretty simple back in 1972—just a few founding members of a running club who were committed to competing in marathons and giving back to their neighbors. Carpooling together, they kept entering cross-country events, and humble beginnings built momentum until it grew bigger than anyone could have ever imagined. This year marks forty-seven years for the London Pacers, and this milestone will make them the longest ever organization giving to non-profits in the area.
“I've been a member for two years now, when I moved to London and never looked back.” Says London Pacers member, Sandra Beernaert. “I'm very proud to be a member of this group.”
The group is a collection of people who love running and are not only supportive of one another, but to all of London and the surrounding area. They find their way to the organization from all walks of life and with different levels of skill and endurance, yet they find a sense of family and community within the organization. Through this kinship with each other and bonding through participation in the sport they love, there have been some very impressive accomplishments happen over the years.
“We've had members who have held Canadian Championship records for speed walking, cross country, many Boston Marathon runners, down to someone doing their very first 5km! Everyone is there with a goal in mind and TONS of support and back patting from the rest.”
But everyone starts somewhere, and even if these are sporting challenges you’re new to and just beginning your journey to one day work up to a marathon event, you’re more than welcome to join the London Pacers. The organization will help you achieve your goals while also helping the community achieve great goals as well.
“We take pride in introducing young community members to the sport we love. We host numerous events annually that the funds go to a charity. We also help other ventures that give to charity, by volunteering and participating, raising funds, for example, recently, at the FCRR.” Sandra informed us. “We put a crew out, every year to do Thames River Clean Up.”
When they’re not even active participants in an event, the Pacers are still finding ways to lend a helping hand to good causes. They often lend timers and other equipment to events raising money for charity. The spirit of giving is intrinsic to the entire organization. “We once filled a car with shoes to go to Kenya!”
Even if you’re not a runner, the Pacers are always looking for volunteers to assist them with events or with online support to help get the word out.
And that help is always welcome, especially since one of their biggest events ever is coming up. “This December 1st, we are doing a "one-off" event of our annual Charity Bear and changing it up a bit. We're bringing the rest of the London running community on board to do the Run Your Pants Off event.” Says Sandra, “Proceeds, food, clothes and cash are going to the Centre of Hope, downtown, for the downtown homeless.” The day of fun will include prizes, music, and activities after a short run through the park, of course.
We at StorageMart recognize the good work, sense of community, sportsmanship, and fun embraced by the London Pacers and have pledged to help through the donation of a storage unit to the organization. With the company’s Store It Forward program, in 2018 StorageMart has donated more than $281,000 to charities in the US, UK, and Canada, along with an additional $520,000 in free rent on storage space at our facilities to numerous charities.
“With the help of community-minded businesses like Storage Mart, we are able to move forward and keep doing what we do—contribute to our great community! We are so grateful to Storage Mart for their help with our group.”
The Pacers are still looking for volunteers, donations, and runners looking to participate in the event.
Learn more about StorageMart’s Store It Forward initiative today.