September 1, 2020 by Speakers' Spotlight
Chris Koch Goes the Distance for Children’s Charity
Over the last days of August, Chris Koch challenged himself to complete a series of increasingly lengthy rides as part of the “virtual” races held by the Calgary Marathon. A veteran of multiple marathons, Chris undertook four days of long-distance races not just to test his stamina but also to raise money for the foundation of the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
Speaking about this fundraising mission with Canadian Running Magazine, Chris explained how he had completed a 5k, 10k, half-marathon, and full marathon over four consecutive days. Being born without fully developed arms or legs, Chris rides a longboard rather than running the distances. In the article, he explained that the Calgary Marathon was actually the first race to invite him to participate while riding, after initially running into entry trouble with the Los Angeles Marathon in 2016. Since that first marathon in Calgary, Chris has now travelled the world to ride in marathon races—in between tending to his farm and doing speaking engagements.
Choosing to support the Alberta Children’s Hospital was a natural cause for Chris to support, as he was fitted for his first prosthetic limbs at the hospital. “I spent a lot of time at the children’s hospital, and I have a lot of friends and family who have unfortunately had kids admitted there. It’s a great organization and an amazing facility,” Chris said to Canadian Running. Though he’s completed this current set of races, he is still accepting donations for the children’s hospital here.
Chris Koch doesn’t let limitations or obstacles stand in his way. Despite being born without arms and legs, Chris grew up like any other small-town kid — playing road hockey, causing mischief at school, and helping out on his family farm. Neither he or his family treated his disability like a tragedy, and instead used it to fuel his dreams. Today, Chris is a motivational speaker who inspires his audiences to continually challenge themselves and build the life they dream of.