Questions still remain about why a young runner died after a half marathon at the Army Run in Ottawa Sunday.

26 year old Phil Everson went into cardiac arrest moments after finishing the race.

Now his partner and his friends are working towards finishing his work in empowering young people.

Eric Evenchick and Diana Dickson are putting together a slide show for Everson’s funeral in Cornwall on Saturday.  Evenchick was Everson’s partner;  Dickson was a university friend and former roommate.

They laugh as they flip through dozens of photos.  It feels good to laugh after so many days of pain.  The heartache of loss momentarily replaced with memories of special times and a special person.

“It's hard looking through the photos,” says Evenchick, “but you look at it and go, “Hey, we had that experience but we got to spend that time together, which is better than if we hadn't.”

Eric Evenchick had spent the last five years with Phil Everson, a University of Waterloo graduate who worked for a start-up company called GooseChase Adventures. Evenchick was at the Army Run watching Everson compete.

“I was actually at the finish line, about a hundred metres from the finish line with his father.”

He says he went in search of Everson, an avid runner and snowboarder, after the race, when he got a call from medical personnel telling him to come to the medical tent. Everson had gone into cardiac arrest and despite heroic efforts, Evenchick says, he was never resuscitated.

“The one silver lining,” he says, “is that he got immediate attention, all the attention you could ask for.”

 And so his partner and friends have taken this tragic situation and done what they say Phil would have wanted.

“Looking at that, thinking what he would do,” says Evenchick, “we can't bring him back so it becomes what can we do?”

They've started the Phil Everson Fund for students at St. Lawrence Secondary School in Cornwall where he attended in Grade 9 and 10, something Everson had always planned to do himself..

“He was very specific,” Evenchick says, “This was school he wanted to work with because some of his most formative years were there.”

They've already raised $15,000 in just one day. 

“Thinking  what would Phil be doing in this situation,” says his friend Diana Dickson, “and this is exactly what he would be doing, that's helping me and Eric get through this.”

So today is about following through on Phil's dreams; there will be time for tears tomorrow.