Sunday, June 21, 2015

Manitoba Marathon Race Report

Every step a thought of you
Every breath a prayer for you
Every heartbeat summons my pride for you

My mantra, for my sister Judith, who in trekking the Portugal Camino in temperatures exceeding 40 degrees C. It got me through some rough patches today but I'm sure people running alongside were a little worried when I started saying it out loud.

Mile 24, Ted's Run for Literacy Water Station (photo credit Bobbi Nicol)
The Manitoba Marathon was a grand success.  The race crew and board of directors should stand proud for a job well done.  Our new race director, Rachel Munday tweaked a few changes thereby improving on previous races considerably. I speak for many runners when I say "I cannot wait to see what Munday will pull out of her hat for next year's event".  It is evident that a runner is at the helm of this storied event now 37 years strong. The future looks bright for the Manitoba Marathon.

If  Munday could just learn to dial the heat back a bit...

The event started with a Carrie Howells's blog post A Trail Runner Hits the Road posted on Trail Run Manitoba yesterday evening.  Howell speaks of her love of trails and explains the significance of road running when her true passion lies in trail running.  She speaks of dreams, blood, and tears. She talks about the significance of revisiting past fears.  She ends with "...and we will all tow the line together". This beautiful statement evokes a powerful image and hits the nail on the head.

Hats off to local running ambassador Jeff Vince for his completion of his 25th Manitoba Marathon and 65th marathon. I had the pleasure to run with Jeff for a mile today and we talked about the importance of leadership for senior men.

I commented "So many men our age retire to the couch and a bottle"

and Jeff added without a blink, "And then to the grave".

I enjoy Jeff's company, perhaps it's his humbleness and quiet nature that I find appealing. He leads with gentleness and models an active lifestyle.

F the C (photo credit Bobbi Nicol)
There is group I will call Jo's angels. What an amazing group of individuals, all crazy happy and positive. Jo and her merry band of angels were with me at key points along the course cheering my name madly. My heart pumped strong and my crooked back straightened in their presence.   They epitomize Howell's we all tow the line together.

I also had the pleasure of running with Ed Toews. Ed is running 20 marathons in 15 months to raise awareness and cash for Siloam Mission. Ed was hit by a vehicle at age 14 resulting in multiple surgeries. The accident left him with a permanent curvature of the spine and one shorter leg.

Ed shared "I'm sort of cheating, I'm actually running 26 marathons in 15 months."

I replied "I think that's reverse cheating." and we laughed.

Like Jeff Vince, Ed Toews is another amazing senior ambassador. And the best news? Ed promised a guest blog on See Mike Run (if he ever stops running long enough to pound out a story).

Bert Blackbird and Melissa Budd, finish line. (photo credit unknown)
An then there is the incredible ultra marathoner Bert Blackbird who completed today's marathon after recently running 362 kilometers from Regina to Brandon to raise awareness and cash for Huntington's disease research. Bert trained on the big hill outside of Brandon for 24 consecutive hours to prepare for the Brandon - Regina run. Local ultrarunner Melissa Budd joined Bert for about 70 miles and has promised a story for See Mike Run. Stay tuned.

Can U Director Roger Berrington providing support at mile 24
Ted's Run for Literacy water station.(photo credit Jen Kirkwood)
And then there is my friend, some say nephew, David Fielder who completed his 99th marathon today. This of course does not include the dozens of ultras he has under his belt. David is an inspiration to many. We love him dearly and we admire his determination.

Ted's Run for Literacy was offered the privilege to organize the Mile 24 water station. Aldo Furlan of many, many hats managed to corral about 20 volunteers to manage the station from 6:30 AM to 1PM. They provided excellent support and stayed on course after closing to provide nutrition to the real heros; those that push it to the end knowing the course is closed and the stands will be empty. They run on grit and heart. I am proud of my TRL peeps for their diversity, their passion, and their belief in a dream so big it staggers the imagination. Ted's Run for Literacy, the little race that could, audaciously dreams of a day when we will break the cycle of childhood poverty. Through literacy, nutrition, and sport we will realize our dream. You can help; mark September 27th in your calendar and visit

You know it friends now and friends waiting to be, it's a good day to be alive.