Thursday, September 4, 2014

The People of Ted's Run for Literacy; Meet Roger Berrington

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.

Relentlessly positive, Roger Berrington, Start2Finish coordinator and proud supporter of Ted's Run for Literacy.
If you get an email from Roger Berrington you’ll see over a dozen “proud affiliations” listed in his signature - places, clubs, and associations he’s been a part of - a testament to his dedication to helping others. One of those is Start2Finish’s Running & Reading Clubs. Roger was in key the brining this national program to Manitoba. You can read more about his experiences with the program below.  We are very happy to say TRL has a “proud affiliation” with Roger Berrington.

Ted’s Run for Literacy: How long have you been running, and how/why did you start?
Roger Berrington: Since I was a kid (quite a long time ago), I have seen the value in and enjoyed running - I was just never very good at it:) I had a grade 7 teacher who encouraged me by understanding what kind of a person I was and what might be a good distance for me to train for and compete at. In more recent years I have enjoyed running as a part of my overall fitness strategy and have enjoyed the challenge of competing in 10 km races and even a half marathon a number of years ago.

TRL: How did you get involved with Start2Finish, and what has been one of your favourite memories/moments?

RB: When I heard what my friend Silvia Ruegger was doing in downtown Toronto helping kids caught in poverty to improve their literacy and coaching them in running I immediately asked her how we might get a running and reading club started in Winnipeg. Being a life long Winnipegger I knew that we have far too many kids and their families caught up in the discouragement and difficult cycle of poverty. We started our first Winnipeg club in 2006 and then expanded over a few years to 3 northern communities and 3 Winnipeg schools. I have had many incredible moments as a S2F coach and school director over the years. Seeing kids discover the wonder of a story, learn a new word, achieve a running goal, earn a shiny medal at the 5 km run, get their very own pair of high end shoes or enjoy a Christmas gift bag full of toys and books all are powerful experiences and memories.

TRL: Post run beer, or burger? Create your own kind to match your running style, and give it a name.

RB: Interesting, probably neither. I mostly enjoy the feeling of actually just finishing a run and also enjoy the banter with my fellow runners about how we feel, what our time goals might be and when our next running challenge is scheduled.

TRL: Do you have a running mantra?

RB: I don’t think so, unless “just finish” is a mantra. I enjoy getting lost in a good playlist while running and I especially enjoy running in one of Winnipeg’s great city parks away from traffic.

TRL What does Ted's Run for Literacy mean to you?

RB: Ted’s Run for Literacy is a symbol to me of all the great people in our city who love helping others and who recognize those who have done great things before us - people like Ted Swain. I love the fact that we are honouring Ted’s legacy and helping many Winnipeg kids at the same time. And I love how well organized and attended it is.

It's a good day to be alive.