Sun Run: Barb’s besties salute the fiery Liverpudlian

To prove the power of the Vancouver Sun Run to motivate and bring people together, look no further than a North Vancouver Sunday Ladies Group.

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To prove the power of the Vancouver Sun Run to motivate and bring people together, look no further than a North Vancouver Sunday Ladies Group.

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A loose coalition of around 20 women on the North Shore, the group revolved around Liverpool born and raised dynamo Barb Ziedler. It’s Ziedler who, since 2001, has encouraged people to join in and keep them going, even in difficult times.

“Barb was determined that our group would stick together, even during the pandemic last winter before vaccines became available,” said member Louise Spears. “As our group was too large during the restrictions to meet, we shared family stories, photos and things we were doing to stay active. Some small groups went out for a run or a walk just so they could see each other.

Ziedler died in January, aged 74. Now the runners are competing in the 2022 Vancouver Sun Run in the Shaw Team Division as Barb’s Besties.

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“Barb was so proud that the band was still going strong after 20 years together,” Spears said. In 2001, Ziedler started the group informally when she took the names and numbers of several people who signed up for Sun Run training at a nearby recreation center. “We decided that because she was so passionate about the Sun Run, we would form a team for this year.”

The Vancouver Sun Run 2022 in-person event is scheduled for April 24. People can also register to race virtually.

“She was still active, but she wasn’t a runner,” said Karen Hydes, a band member who worked with Ziedler. “She decided to do the Sun Run as a challenge for herself. She motivated a lot of people. She motivated me. She was very feisty, a very British woman. She wouldn’t leave you room.

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Terry Hill met Ziedler at the gym. “We were doing classes together and she talked about Sun Run training coming up. I had done the Sun Run years before through work, but never really trained for it. She said, ‘Let’s sign up and you and I can do the practice runs during the week.’ Then she introduced me to her Sunday running group.

Susan Miller was Ziedler’s neighbor for almost 27 years. A registered dietitian, she got involved with the Sun Run after Ziedler mentioned that the Ron Andrews Rec Center training clinic was looking for someone to give a talk on nutrition.

The fitness component is important to the group, but so is socializing, Miller wrote in an email. “We continue to train and come back every year so we can continue to stay fit, nurture our friendships, socialize and support each other through thick and thin. We have been there for our friends as some have faced separations, divorces, raising difficult children (losing a child to a drug overdose), career changes and challenges, depression, personal health problems, as well as spouses and friends (external to our group) who suffered from chronic illnesses, etc. One year we even organized a weekend getaway to San Francisco to race Bay to Breakers!

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Ziedler was diagnosed with lung cancer at the end of November last year. “She was so surprised!” Spears said. “She never smoked, stayed active and watched her diet. At 74, she went to the gym, ran and walked around the neighborhood. After the diagnosis, Ziedler’s health deteriorated rapidly. to die on January 10, she asked her husband Bob to be buried in his favorite running gear.Barb’s Besties will wear her colors, pink and purple, on April 24.

Participating in this year’s Sun Run “was the best thing we could do to honor Barb,” Spears said. “Gather a team and invite as many of us as possible to participate with Barb to cheer us on!”

To register for the 2022 Vancouver Sun Run, visit vancouversunrun.com.

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