Ken Richardson running a marathon with a big smile on his face and wearing a Marathon Maniacs t-shirt.

Photo Credit: Ken Richardson / North Island Eagle

Do You Have the Grit of this 77 Year Old Marathon Runner?

This guy can really run

COVID put a wrench in his running plans, so Richardson rallied Sointula folks together for a good cause

Ken Richardson loves running. He won medals for running in the BC seniors games. He got his Marathon Maniacs t-shirt after running marathons on back-to-back weekends in 2018. He has run the Boston Marathon — three times — and once after being diagnosed with a lung disease.

But after all these marathons, he wanted to make his running more meaningful. So he started using his marathons to raise money for the Sointula Recreation Association.

The Recreation Association needed new chairs, and they would cost $5,000. Richardson had raised $2,500 when COVID-19 hit.

But Richardson couldn’t run his marathons anymore. So he went to the Recreation Association, and the Sisu Challenge 2021 was born.

Sisu is a Finnish word for grit or determination. It’s the kind of thing you need to run a marathon, or to get through a pandemic for that matter.

For Sisu, folks came up with their own challenges and used those to raise money for the chairs. They had to commit to doing their challenge for two weeks. Some people swam. Some ran long distances. Some juggled. One woman even quit smoking for pledges.

“I love getting the whole community involved in raising money,” Richardson told the North Island Eagle.

The Sisu Challenge 2021 ends on June 15. You can still pledge until the Challenge closes. You can find more information by emailing