On Saturday May 23rd I participated in my second runway run but the inaugural event of this type in my adopted town of Fredericton, New Brunswick. The event was held on the runways and taxiways of the Fredericton International Airport (YFC) and consisted of a 5 km out and back route.
I had a personal interest in seeing this event succeed because I was the initial liaison between the communications officer at the airport, Kate O’Rourke and our running club, the Capital City Road Runners. Our club had been looking for a community event to support and/or develop so the partnership happened at a great time. It was the desire of both groups that the event help raise funds and the awareness of a cause. Due to the recent interest in mental health and the experiences of some of the people involved with the race, we contacted The Canadian Mental Health Association who were more than excited to be a part of the event.
The race was held on a Saturday and the day broke, cloudy, cold and we had….snow! It turned to a very cold rain before my girlfriend Nicola and I left for the airport which at least was an improvement; however it was also very, very windy.
My girlfriend and I, along with running the race, were volunteering. We were handing out shirts and race kits which placed us halfway between the open doors of the pavilion, in which we were situated, this kept us the maximum distance from the cold air; bonus!
The runners trickled in and I said to Robyn, the other volunteer, that the majority of the runners will show up at noon. Sure enough around noon we became busier until finally it was time to race. My girlfriend and I changed into our running kilts…yes you read that right and we joined the line of other runners to go outside. As luck would have it the sun had come out and it was somewhat warmer but the wind was still very strong and it was cool.
We walked a short distance out on the apron then we were off! We started off almost directly into the wind which made for tough going for the first 2-2.5 km of the run but then we turned and ran with the wind which was of course a treat 🙂 With about 1-1.5 km left we again turned back into the wind and finally with about 500-700 metres we turned directly in to the wind!! Now let me tell you, I have run in a bunch of races and this was the strongest wind that I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Maybe it was the openness of the runway I’m not sure but it was very, very tough going. However Nicola and I powered through and finished hand-in-hand with a time of 28:52. Fun!
We met numerous friends at the finish, hugged, high-fived then wandered into the terminal to get our medal and a few snacks.
We stayed for a while and chatted and listened to the winners of the race and of the various draw prizes but alas we did not win. However we did learn that the race had raised over $20,000 for the Mental Health Association, this was indeed a win and it certainly made the chilly, windy run worthwhile.
Just as we were leaving the skies opened up again and we beat it home to try to warm ourselves in front of the fire.
I would qualify the race as a success, sadly the weather was terrible which limited the viewing of the static displays but the money raised and the nearly hitch free organization more than compensated. I would imagine that the race will be held again next year, whether I will run is undecided but I love supporting my adopted hometown, my club and a good organization so it’s entirely possible. I can certainly see myself volunteering once again.
Next race…. Half marathon at the Johnny Miles Race Weekend, June 21st in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.
Thanks for reading!
One foot in front of the other