For Chris Kape, a busy Vancouver-based investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, keeping physically fit is the centerpiece to success in all areas of life.
Whether it’s running with his kids, training for the New York, Vancouver or Seattle marathons, (all of which he has successfully completed) or taking part in running-related initiatives that raise money for charity, Chris says hitting the pavement is his inspiration to approach life with a more relaxed pace and to not stress over the little things.
Chris’ interest in running first sparked in high school.However, after being diagnosed with and subsequently beating cancer at 44 years old, he started to view fitness and a healthy diet as a way to be in control of some of the outside forces that could hurt him and his body.
“By amending certain lifestyle choices, I became determined to reduce the risk of getting cancer again. Running helped me promote a healthy lifestyle and reduce possible illnesses,” says Chris Kape.
Today, with a clean bill of health, the avid runner has found a way to take his passion for running and physical fitness and has integrated it with his contributions to charities through his personal and business efforts.
One of the ways he has raised funds and awareness for charitable causes, as aforementioned, is through competing in marathons. Chris says running in marathons, for him, is all about having goals.
“The harder the goal is to achieve, the better; however, it has to remain in the realm of being achievable. Setting a goal to run in a marathon is just lofty enough to make it extremely difficult, yet achievable.”
Chris says the amount of time it takes to properly train for a marathon can be lengthy and takes a lot of discipline, typically between 6 to 8 months to get your body into its best physical shape.
As for his secret to mentally preparing for a race? Well, there is no secret.
“Here’s the thing, if you’ve trained properly, there is no mental preparation necessary because you are just ready to go on the day of the actual event. 8I used to get jittery and have trouble sleeping the night before, but now it is just another fun and exhilarating day.”
Running in marathons is definitely exhilarating for the Vancouver businessman, but as Chris explains, there is also a large social aspect to it.
“I actually have a few colleagues that I train with and I have really found that having a common physical goal makes your bond stronger,” he explains.
In addition to running, Chris participates in other physical activities such as road biking. He’s competed in two major charity bike events in the past.
“In the biking category, I have only dedicated myself to two events thus far: the Grand Fondos and the Ride to Conquer Cancer, each occurring in and around British Columbia once per year; and I have participated in 5 of them.”
As a cancer survivor, Chris was looking forward to training for and participating in the 2020 Ride to Conquer Cancer, but it was canceled due to the COVID-19 health crisis. He is looking forward to participating in the event in 2021.
Chris Kape: “I think it will be special to complete the biking event as a survivor. In the past, I recall survivors riding with yellow flags attached to their bikes and thinking “this is the reason I am doing this.” Raising awareness and money is necessary to keep cancer survival rates trending upwards and the death toll trending downwards.”
During the current health crisis, there are a lot of virtual runs being planned, and although Chris decided to give one a try, he discovered his heart is still with the real deal.
“I did participate in a virtual race, but for me, it just wasn’t the same as an in-person race. I enjoy the group/herd mentality on race day. Picking up the package before, browsing all the new race products available, seeing all the physically fit people who are ready to run, marveling at the elite athletes, etc,” he says. “I enjoy lining up at the start with everyone and crossing the finish line together. These things do not happen in a virtual world.”
Right now, while race days are cancelled, Chris is keeping himself in the best running and biking shape, aiming to put in at least 20km a week of running and 100km of biking.
As he sees it, “The people who do these events know that these numbers are quite small, but without a target goal, it is hard to stay motivated. This is ‘just enough’ to maintain a certain level of fitness and keep myself on track for when something comes along.”
Even though swimming isn’t one of his favorite sports, one of Chris’s life mantras is to push yourself out of your own comfort zone, and that is exactly what he intends to do. “As long as the pandemic issues clear in 2021, I will aim to participate in a triathlon!”
As far as Chris Kape’s advice for “newbie” marathon runners, he suggests the following:
- Don’t try and beat a clock or time. Just take it easy the first few times you compete.
- Really enjoy yourself.
- Do it with someone else (most importantly). There is a lot more joy in finishing together than alone.
- Train, train, train – but don’t over train. Do research on what training programs look like and what will work best for you.
- Join a running group.
- Get proper shoes (fitted by someone that knows what they are doing).
- Get a great playlist if you aren’t talking to your running partner during the runs (I prefer talking).
All useful advice that has surely guided Chris Kape to become the determined athlete and runner that he is today.