Thursday, June 26, 2014

The People of Ted's Run for Literacy; Meet Bryan and Cheryl

The People of Ted's Run for Literacy is a 'behind the scenes' look at the many individuals that make up Ted's Run for Literacy; from committee members, to runners, to volunteers, to sponsors.  Every week leading up to race day we will interview an individual whose contribution to TRL helps to define the heart and soul of this fine event. The People of TRL is the brainchild of our Social Media chair, Carly Walsh.
Cheryl Peters (right, blue jacket) trained for months to walk the 2-k event at TRL.
Cheryl and Bryan, two of TRL's favourite volunteers.
If you are a runner you know that a cheer from the sidelines can be all it takes to dig deep for that extra bit of energy. Bryan and Cheryl Peters have been those friendly faces on the TRL course and other races around the city, cheering on their daughter Connie (a TRL volunteer coordinator) and other runners come sleet or snow. We can’t thank them enough for their support and their signs!

Ted’s Run for Literacy - Why do you feel it's important to volunteer at races and other running events?
Bryan and Cheryl Peters - We believe that running events are a wonderful way to support charitable causes. Not only do they raise funds but they go a long way to bringing awareness to them as well. We are blessed to have a daughter who loves running and we want to encourage her and others to keep running in these events.

TRL - What has been your favourite race to volunteer/cheer at and why?
BCP - The "Hypo-halfs" are always fun. We try to be at as many spots as possible to encourage our daughter. We also cheer on others with signs and banners as we go from spot to spot. We love the interaction we get as we have come to know many of the runners over the years.

TRL - What are positive words you can give to keep runners motivated?
BCP - On a serious side we just want the runners to know that this is a personal thing. Many of them are running against their own best time. To hear someone on the sidelines yelling encouragements only fuels them to drag that last ounce of willpower out and finish the race. On a lighter side we love to make banners and signs that show up at every race we go to. Signs like "RUN LIKE YOU STOLE SOMETHING" or "TOENAILS ARE FOR SISSIES". We have a double sided sign that says "YOU CAN DO IT" on one side and a quick flip to the other side brings out everything from smiles to stumbling laughter. The back of the sign says "DON'T POOP". Apparently this is a big concern for some runners.

TRL - How do you stay positive out on the course? Especially when it's raining/cold/super hot?
BCP - Cheryl volunteered to cheer runners on at the Police half marathon. It was supposed to be a warm spring day. As it turned out the day was met by a full on blizzard. Cheryl still went out armed with banners and frozen shouts of "YOUR ALMOST THERE". The coffee shop nearby kept bringing her hot drinks and the runners warmed her soul with hugs as they went by. Many of the Ted's Run marathons have started on chilly mornings. When you get there and see familiar faces and get into the mood you soon forget about the cold and wet. This isn't about us but about the cause and the many runners who are giving it their best to support a worthwhile cause.

TRL - What does Ted's Run mean to you?
BCP - For Cheryl it has been the goal of walking the 2K one year after having a total knee replacement and knocking a big chunk off her previous time when she walked it the following year.

For me it has been to capture the expressions on the runners faces as they cross the finish line. I've been taking pictures since I was a kid and this has been such fun to capture those images. I also know what it's like to have trouble reading. It's taken many years to learn to enjoy a book. Supporting a program that helps kids read and also supports physical activity is all good stuff.

Bryan Peters, official TRL photographer.

It's a good day to be alive, especially when Bryan and Cheryl are volunteering at Ted's Run for Literacy.

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