Life in the fast lane is exactly how you could describe the busy schedule of South Team and ILS client Leonka Kaluha. We caught up with Leonka in between activities at the YMCA to talk to her about the upcoming Scotiabank Calgary Marathon Charity Challenge, her supportive roommate Marilyn Ritchie, and everything in between.
One of Leonka’s most recent conquests was the Freezin’ for a Reason Polar Plunge. Leonka explained the plunge saying, “The firefighter cuts a hole in the ice, and you jump in. All the money raised goes towards Special Olympics.” And afterwards? “Go in the hot tub,” laughs Leonka.
Now that the Plunge has passed, Leonka is setting her sights on the three upcoming runs she has signed up for: a Mother’s Day Run & Walk, the 2014 Calgary Transplant Trot in memory of a friend she lost to a double lung transplant, and the 5K portion of the 2014 Scotiabank Calgary Marathon Charity Challenge. The 2013 Charity Challenge marked a great accomplishment for Leonka, as it was her first time running it without a running partner. “I’ve always had a running partner, but last year I didn’t.”
Although Marilyn, Leonka’s supportive roommate, won’t be joining her in this year’s 5K she will be cheering from the stands. “She’s a big cheerleader. With Special Olympics 5 pin bowling we went to Nationals in 2010 and they [Marilyn and the other supporters] were called the Rowdy Rebels cause they cheered so loud,” says Leonka.
Besides being a renowned cheerleader, Marilyn is also known for her supportive nature when it comes to Leonka’s interests. “She’s fun to be around. We do fun things; go to movies, go shopping or go to Cross Iron Mills,” Leonka said of Marilyn. One of Leonka’s favourite memories with Marilyn is their trip to Disneyworld for her birthday. “I got a birthday button so all the staff when you walk by them wish you a happy birthday. Push the Talking Trash Can sang happy birthday to me and I got to ride the teacups with the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland!”