Ottawa man running 14 km every day in May to thank front-line workers
OTTAWA -- An Ottawa man has found a unique way to say thank you to front-line workers and he wants to raise awareness, hoping everyone will show their appreciation too.
Mike Herzog is running 14 kilometres per day, everyday this May.
“The reason 14 is so special is our front-line workers have been enduring COVID for 14 months,” he tells CTV News Ottawa.
Seeing his wife on the front line, working at the hospital, he wanted to say thank you to all health-care workers.
“They’re amazing people; they deserve our respect, our love, and our gratitude.”
So, he’s thanking them one step at a time and running with a purpose. He leaves home early in the morning and arrives at the Ottawa Hospital General Campus and CHEO as staff are coming in for work or leaving after an overnight shift.
“Ottawa is fatigued; everyone is fatigued, but I think it’s in us all to take a moment and express some sort of gratitude,” he says.
It’s a welcome gesture, says Julie Mainville, a nurse at the Ottawa Hospital.
“When I saw Mike running, I just instantly smiled and said, ‘Oh, that is just so nice.’ It’s just such a good way to start your shift,” she says of seeing him just before 7 a.m., at the start a 12-hour day nursing.
All of the running is leading up to Herzog's grand finale at the end of the month.
“An ultramarathon called the extra mile, where I’ll be running from the Queensway-Carleton (Hospital), snaking all the way through all 10 hospitals that have been involved,” he says.
Herzog wants everyone to join in the appreciation for front-line workers and it doesn’t have to include running. Whether it’s drawing with chalk on a sidewalk, dropping off a gift, or simply saying an online thanks, he encourages anyone to take a picture and share on social media, using the hashtag #OttawaHeroes.
“Thank somebody. Thank a front-line worker, thank your neighbour, thank an essential worker. Thank somebody because when you help somebody else, you really do help yourself.”
Herzog set up a website with ideas on how to help or say thank you.