A Port Alberni runner attempted to run almost 100 kilometres this weekend to raise funds for a friend who is recovering from a motorcycle accident.
Kevin Grimes, a Port Alberni resident, was in a motorcycle crash in early September on the highway between Port Alberni and the West Coast. Since then, Grimes has been in a coma in a Victoria hospital.
One of Grimes’ long-time friends, Dave Nesbitt, has been raising money for Grimes’ compounding expenses from being hospitalized for so many weeks.
Nesbitt and Grimes have been friends for more than 10 years, with a mutual love of motorcycles. One of their favourite routes to ride was between Port Alberni and the Highwayman Saloon in Union Bay.
“He is a man with a heart of gold,” Nesbitt wrote on Grimes’ GoFundMe. “Below the tough and rough biker exterior is a man who loves and cares more than almost anyone I know, and with the amount of bad luck he has seen, he ALWAYS still does it with a smile on his face, and love in his heart, putting everyone else’s needs above his own.”
Nesbitt said the prognosis “wasn’t great” at the start, but Grimes recently opened his eyes for the first time since the accident.
“In the meantime, he’s got a lot of bills piling up,” said Nesbitt.
A few friends have been making sure Grimes’ rent gets paid, but Nesbitt says there are more expenses to come for Grimes’ recovery. On Oct. 16, Nesbitt braved the rain and attempted to run from Grimes’ house in Port Alberni (near the Alberni Valley Gurdwara Society on Montrose Street) to the Highwayman Saloon in Union Bay—a roughly 100-km run—in order to raise money and awareness for his friend.
This wasn’t Nesbitt’s first time running an ultramarathon. Nesbitt is an experienced trail runner and has also participated in the Wounded Warriors run on Vancouver Island.
This was, however, the longest run Nesbitt had ever attempted on the road. He had also recently battled a respiratory infection that started acting up again after 50 kilometres or so. Between this and the foul weather on Saturday, Nesbitt was forced to call the run at 60 kilometres near the Crown and Anchor Pub in Qualicum.
Nesbitt said he plans to return to the Crown and Anchor in the near future to finish the last leg of the run.
“I want to finish it to honour Kevin and to honour all the people that have taken the time to donate,” said Nesbitt.
Nesbitt had a few supporters from Port Alberni join him on the run, and he said there were plenty of people honking and waving signs of support along the way.
“We come from an amazing community with an amazing heart,” said Nesbitt. “I’m so grateful for all the support.”
The GoFundMe for Grimes has seen “pretty good success” so far, said Nesbitt, raising more than $5,000 as of Monday, Oct. 18.
The GoFundMe can be found online by searching for “Kevin always helped everyone. Lets help him.”