Sunday, October 20, 2013

Ted's Run for Literacy 2013

I remember well his indomitable good humour on those ridiculous 18km runs this winter with a wind chill in the mid minus 40s. How did he do it?! Ted was wonderful company – we swapped stories about teaching and travelling, and he offered sound running advice and inspiration. He made just finishing the race – whatever the distance -- into an excellent and worthy goal. I respected his view that it was not possible to run too slowly on the long runs, and appreciated his little ‘instructive’ remarks when I ran ahead of the group. Having spent so many hours running and talking with Ted, I consider him a friend, and am deeply saddened by his much too early exit.

Cheryl Dueck on the passing of Ted, 2009

As race director I have the pleasure of starting the runners.. on your mark, get set, GO.. such a thrill!
The third annual Ted's Run for Literacy was a smashing success.  With 291 registered runners and walkers this makes 2013 our best ever race.  The seven family teams added a whole new sparkle to Ted's Run for Literacy sporting names such as the MackaPackas, The Poundies, The 4RE's, Jack's Firing Jets.  I even overheard some good natured chirping between two families.. you're going down MackaPackas.... hope those tattoos aren't permanent LJM3 ... all in the spirit of fun and good cheer. Several dozen schools were represented including Teulon, Kelvin, Grosvenor, John Henderson and Balmoral Hall. It is gratifying to see children run to support children living in poverty. 

Carly bringing in her son.
As Stephanie led the participants in a pre-race warm-up the thick clouds parted exposing a summer blue sky. The sun's warmth smiled on the dancers; their feet kicked a little higher, a little stronger as they danced together as one. And the smiles, what can be said of the smiles? To say Ted was there smiling along with his old pals would be stating the obvious.  He was there in the hearts and the minds of all... and he was in shorts with a Viking hat.  Dear old Ted, you are missed so.

Smile x 3 
We invited political folks but Ted's Run is too small for busy politicians. No matter, we had the support of three race directors: Bridget Robinson of the Point Douglas Run, Jonathan Torchia of the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Run, and local hero, Jeff Vince of the Diana Stevens Empower Run. We had the likes of David Fielder, Barefoot Bob, Melissa Budd, and many many more.  We had one wheeler whose smiles and positivity lit up the course.  No, we didn't have any politicians, they were all to busy, but we had better, we had the likes of you. We had folks with kind hearts, deep pockets, and unbridled positive energy.  We had moms and dads and kids.  We had a wheeler, and dog walkers. We had energy and spirit. We had the spirit of Ted waft through the course. No politicians though, they were too busy.  
                            What an awesome team!                                     
What can one say of the volunteers who give so freely of their time?  Those who keep us safe. Those that load vans.  Those that hand out ribbons to child runners.Those that cheer and hold up signs.  Those that have beautiful souls. Those who give so much and expect nothing in return except perhaps a smile and a coffee.  I tried to thank you all but I know I missed many, please forgive me. These volunteers we have at Ted's Run for Literacy, we are so fortunate and so grateful for your support.  Ted smiles upon you.
Best volunteers ever!
Ted's Run for Literacy is proud of our $4000 donation to Start2Finish. Start2Finish supports Running and Reading programs in two Winnipeg schools and two First Nations schools in Northern Manitoba. Thanks to folks like you, Ted's Run For Literacy, through Start2Finish, provides high-end running shoes for all children participating in the Running Reading Program.  How does this help literacy? Children living in poverty do not have the same opportunity to participate in high quality, extra-curricular activities that nurture both the mind and the body.  Start2Finish provides a little push to help even the playing field.  Active kids are engaged kids.  Engaged kids are happy kids. Happy kids learn to read in a safe, caring environment.

Barefoot Bob
Barefoot Bod is an extraordinary individual and, I am proud to say, a good friend.  Bob raised an additional $3000 (and climbing) to our pot, raising the total donation to Start2Finish to $7000 (and climbing).  Our race committee is overwhelmed with the kindness and spirit of this beautiful man. His dedication to the running community inspires me and, in the same breath, humbles me. This man, this runner, this barefoot runner, Barefoot Bob, has wormed his way into the hearts and minds of runners across Canada.  His spirt and generosity has no end.  It is a privilege to have Bob support our event

Since it's inception in 2011, Ted's Run for Literacy has raised over $15,000 for Start2Finish. Ted's Run for Literacy... indeed... the little race that could.  

My friends, and friends soon to be, thank you for believing in Ted's Run for Literacy, thank you for believing that childhood poverty can be eradicated, and thank you for your support.  


It's a good day to be alive.

Save the date:  The fourth annual Ted's Run for Literacy, October 12, 2014, Kildonan Park.


Anonymous said...

Mike, this is beautiful! I agree, it's a great day to be alive!

Thanks for all you do.


Unknown said...

All days a re good to be alive, some are just better than others. Mike