MARITIME RUNNER
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Feet to fly in Fredericton

Fourth annual 5-miler raising funds for MAF

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
June 5, 2017

FREDERICTON – It was the actions of one couple that inspired those of another.
Jill and Mark Kozak started the MAF Flyin’ Feet Five Miler in Fredericton after a couple from their church, Chaundra and Matt Eagar, decided to pick up with their three young children and move to Uganda. There he now serves as a full-time pilot for Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), which provides services for non-profit organizations operating in Third World countries.
But they have to raise all their own funds to make this possible, and that’s where the Kozaks decided to get involved.

Mark Kozak and daughter Gabby were among the participants in last year’s MAF Flyin’ Feet Five Miler. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, June 10.

Photo courtesy of Jill Kozak

“When my husband and I began to look into MAF and its global impact, we realized the importance of getting behind Matt and Chaundra to help them carry out their passion and mission,” said Jill.
Formed by a group of Second World War pilots soon after the war, MAF is now in 30 countries around the world, helping such organizations as UNICEF, the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations. Its services include delivering supplies, food, water, volunteers, educators, missionaries, doctors and more, to war-torn nations and those affected by disaster.
When the Kozaks decided to help, organizing a run seemed like a natural route for them to follow.
“Mark is a passionate runner and we have been running for more than 25 years, at first as a couple and then as a family after kids came along,” said Jill. “Mark thought that a race would be a great way that we as a family could support the Eagars and also raise awareness.”
Jill grabbed the idea and ran with it, putting together the inaugural Flyin-Feet Five Miler in 2014, with help from Sole2Soul Runners and volunteers from their church, Smythe Street Cathedral. The fourth annual event will take place this year on Saturday, June 10.
With a goal to support MAF by providing a well-organized, off-road experience designed for runners by runners, the event offers a five-mile course through the beautiful Odell park’s main trail system and botanical gardens. Also offered will be a 1K fun run for children 12 and under.
“Since we have been a part of the running community for many years and have done many races, we know that runners love a well organized race and a good challenge,” said Jill. “The Flyin’ Feet Five Miler is just that.”
Musicians are posted along the course to help provide motivation, as are many volunteers to help keep runners on track. The final mile is uphill, making for a challenging conclusion to the race. Refreshments and prizes await participants during post-run celebrations.
Last year saw 80 participants, and Jill is hoping to see that mark surpassed this year.
For more on the Flyin’ Feet Five Miler, visit here .