Curtis Hargrove is no stranger to pounding the pavement on an open road, in 2007 he famously ran across Canada to raise money for The Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton. His philanthropic missions didn’t stop at the cross-Canada run, Curtis has continued to put his feet to good use over the years. Always motivated by charity causes, Curtis has run from Cold Lake to Edmonton in high heels, and various marathons, 10km and 5km runs across British Columbia and Alberta. On August 30th, 2015, Curtis plans on grabbing world-wide attention via The Ellen DeGeneres Show by running from Port Alberni, BC to The Ellen studios in Burbank, CA.
Curtis says it’s a special lady who has him running this time, Angel Magnussen, a 19-year-old girl with Down Syndrome who brings warmth and love to young children all around the world. Angel, the maker and creator of Hugginz By Angel, designs and sews blankets and gives them to sick kids across the world. Angel does not work for a wage, rather everything she receives from outside jobs in retail or through donations is put back in Hugginz by Angel.
Curtis met Angel when he was nominated for The National Game Changers award during the Grey Cup in 2012. Curtis ended up losing to Angel, but won a lifelong friendship with the girl. Angel, at the time 16 years old invited Curtis to be her prom date, Curtis accepted and the bond was solidified. “Angel ended up winning the $100,000 prize for the charity of her choice,” Curtis explains, “but I was able to go out to her house and see all of the people she effects in her life. At just 19 years old, she’s already raised over $300,000 for various charities. She’s a very selfless person.”
Curtis explains he’s making the trip the The Ellen studios, because Angel loves what Ellen does for those in need and wanted to thank the talk show host with one of her Hugginz by Angel blankets. “Angel sent a blanket to Ellen last year, she knows it got there, but she didn’t get a response back. So, I announced that I was going to run from her Hugginz Studio in Port Alberni to the Ellen show to deliver her a blanket personally, so that way Angel will know it got delivered and it will show the world who Angel Magnussen is.”
On August 29th, there will be a send-off party of sorts at Angel’s studios for Curtis, Wings for Angel. Curtis says the young girl just recently went through her fifth jaw surgery, “the event is meant for Angel to have a party and relax.” Angel is hoping the wires on her jaw from the surgery will be off in time for the event so she is able to partake in all the fun, which includes party food. “This is time for her to celebrate,” Curtis says, “then the next day I’ll be starting the run on her Hugginz Studio.”
Curtis has his schedule laid out and should he be successful following it, the philanthropist should arrive, blanket in hand at The Ellen studios in less than two months. “I have it set at 58 marathons in 49 days,” Curtis says there’s always extenuating circumstances, and excepted delays so this is not a hard-set schedule, “obviously, things can happen. My body can get tired and sore, I haven’t added in any rest days. I estimate it could take 55 to 60 days.”
Curtis admits his training regime is not as intense as it was when he ran across Canada, due to sickness. The runner had a bout of meningitis a year ago, which took some time to recover from. On top of that, work and life restraints have not made intense training an option. The runner is still mentally prepare for the road ahead, “I’ve been staying physically fit, like I normally do. Going to hockey, pick-up games. Just stuff to stay active. I know what the mileage is like and what the road entails.”
There is a possibility that Curtis will run to The Ellen studios and the talk show host won’t be there. “Everybody’s kinda worried about that,” says Curtis, “but there’s big things to come for Angel. When you do charity work, one of the big things is, you have to have faith. And I, 110 percent believe, that when we get there Ellen will be there, waiting for us. We’ll be able to share Angel’s story with the world and we’ll make Ellen a part of team Hugginz!”
You can follow Curtis’ journey on the runner’s Facebook page, CHargrove15 or through Hugginz By Angel. The journey will also be documented, including live updates on Hugginz Highway. Keep checking back with Lakelandconnect.net as we follow Curtis Hargrove on The Hugginz Highway.