Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Manitoba Runners' Association Hall of Fame Banquet

The Juno's may be rockin', but the Manitoba Runners' Association Hall of Fame Inductee banquet has soul.

Truly, this is one fine event that all runners should put on their event calendars. This year's inductees include David Fielder, Dwayne Sandall, and John Murphy. These three men represent all that is good in the Manitoba running community and inspire us to greater heights. Their passion and dedication towards our sport is unparalleled and for this we are forever grateful.  
photo credit Gregory C. McNeil
David Fileder, John Murphy, Dwayne Sandall

Speaking of passion, dedication, and heart we would remiss to overlook the work of the MRA board of directors.  This amazing board is composed of Manitoba's finest ambassadors for our sport. They exemplify selfless volunteerism and are heroic in their own right within the national running community. Their mission statement is to promote and support the sport of running for health, fun, and fitness for life to runners of all ages and abilities. Congratulations to the MRA board of directors on this, their 43rd anniversary of supporting Manitoban runners.  

Thank you, MRA Board of Directors, for all that you do:

Leni Campbell
John Murphy
Jeff Vince
Kathy Wiens
Brenlee Muska
James Slade
Dreena Duhame
Judy McMullen
John Wichers
John Gray
Lindsey Green
Reesa Simmonds
Cynthia Menzies
Fern Berard
Ken Perchaluk

photo credit Gregory C. McNeil
Master of Ceremonies, Barefoot Bob Nicol
Our Master of Ceremonies, Barefoot Bob Nicol, started the show with a slide presentation which showcased about a dozen of the 200+ annual running events in Manitoba.  His talk was  personable, emotionally heartfelt, and highly entertaining. Bob's character rang true when he became visibly emotional while speaking of his fundraising efforts towards Ted's Run for Literacy. A kindly blogger interjected and finished the story on Bob's behalf.  Bob had us laughing throughout the presentation with many anecdotes and 'inside stories' behind the pictures. The good natured teasing and catcalls from his friends at the Hasher table added to the overall enjoyment of the presentation.  Well done Bob!

Joel Toews provided a warm introduction of Hall of Fame inductee Dwayne Sandall.  Joel spoke of Dwayne's many accomplishments including his Big Horn 100 mile race and his habit of running a minimum of 2 miles every single day for the last 6 years including the day his son was born. That's some kinda' crazy!  Dwayne is also honoured for his creation of the Beaudry Lemming Loop, The Spruce Woods Ultra, The Try-a-Trail series to name but a few.  Joel spoke of the man behind the accomplishments. He said of his friend "Dwayne's love of the sport and selfless attitude has contributed to many others taking up the sport of trail running and ultras".  Well done Joel!

Kelvin Hollender was unavailable to introduce his good friend John Murphy. His speech was expertly delivered by Kelly Lambkin.  It was John's son Darrell who, in 1993 while running in the Western Canada Games, inspired in his father a love of running. Since then John has run 23 full-marathons including Boston and dozens of other races of various distances. In 2009 John shared his vision of creating a run/walk event with The Canadian Diabetes Association.  Kelvin writes "With optimism, vigor and a desire to succeed, John willingly took on the challenge of Race Director" for this event. Kelvin spoke highly of John's selfless volunteerism which, among other things, raised $125,000 for for the Canadian Diabetes Association.    John was honoured in 2013 as National Volunteer of the Year Award from The Canadian Diabetes Association and is warmly embraced by Manitoba's running community.

The blogger known as Mike had the pleasure of introducing Hall of Fame Inductee David Fielder. Mike purposefully chose not to speak of David's running accomplishments although they are numerous and significant.  Instead, Mike spoke of the man who laughs at mile 24, the man who dons costumes, and the man who chats incessantly with runners and volunteers along the course whether it's a 5 k fun run or a 100 mile ultra. Mike spoke of the man who "brings a crazy kinda energy to all races" and the man who "sacrifices his own run to help others". Mike spoke of the man who weaves memories of running from his grace, his wit, and his love. Yes friends, Mike spoke of David Fielder, the individual:
Our individuality is all, all that we have... blessed in the twinkle of the morning star is the one who nurtures it and rides it in, in grace and love and wit, from peculiar station to peculiar station along life's bittersweet route. (Tom Robbins via CM)
It was an evening of grace, and love, and wit.  And it was, and it is, and it will continue to be, a good day to be alive.


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