Sunday, April 24, 2016

Manitoba Runners' Association Hall of Fame Banquet

To promote and support the sport of running for health and fitness for life to runners of all ages and abilities.
Manitoba Runners' Association Mission Statement

We transition from jogger to runner the moment we register for a race and chances are good the race is sanctioned by MRA. This volunteer board works tirelessly to promote running in our community. They expect no thanks or acknowledgement; they simply live and breathe their mission statement in all they do.  On behalf of the thousands of runners MRA serves, See Mike Run sends his gratitude.

Aside from sanctioning 50 events a year, they also promote the MRA Youth Series, deliver seminars, publish a newsletter, provide advice to race directors, and loan out equipment. The MRA also holds an annual banquet to honour Manitoba runners under four categories; Builder, Athlete, Club, and Runner of the Year. This year's sold-out banquet was outstanding and will remembered forever by those in attendance.

This years' inductees were selected from a wide field of deserving nominations. We warmly welcome Stephanie Roberecki (builder/athlete), Joanne Schiewe (athlete), Robert Bienke (runner of the year), and Prairie Sky Road Runners (club) to the Manitoba Runners' Association Hall of Fame. Other distinguished members include Dennis Lang, Georgina Cook, David Fielder, John Murphy, and Dwayne Sandall to name but a few.

All inductees at the 2016 event received a long and heartfelt standing ovation, and yes, there were a whole lotta tears, tears of happiness, tears of love, and tears of joy.

The evening was co-hosted by John Murphy and Ace Burpee. John's eloquence at the mic was met with Ace's biting humour.  Ace's spoke of 'who not to induct into the Hall of Fame' and included such notables as himself and his sister.... you really had to be there!  

The food was delicious and the vegetarian option was well received by many.  The cash bar was well stocked and the service was friendly, but why close the bar at 7:30 just as the speeches were to begin? Many went to refill their glass and were met with a closed bar.  I know we're runners and most nights we're in bed by 9:00 PM, but heck, a second glass of wine would have been nice.

The late, great Prince said "We are gathered here today to get through this thing called life".  That's what the MRA banquet is all about. We gather and laugh, and shed some tears, and hug, and smile, and drink (just one glass though), and talk and listen, and reflect, and give thanks... all in the name of getting through this thing called life. We choose to move our bodies through this thing called life. We cycle, we swim, we run through this thing called life.  We challenge ourselves and we are stubborn. We won't rest until we achieve. We won't stop until we die. We run past the finish line to another line and another line.

We run through this thing called life.

We are a community of runners and we thank Joanne Schiewe, Stephanie Roberecki, Robert Bienke, the Prairie Sky Road Runners for their spirit and we thank the MRA board of directors for their passion.

Kathy Wiens
John Murphy
Dreena Duhame
Judy McMullen
Leni Campbell
John Wichers
Brenlee Muska
Ken Perchaluk
Rockford McKay
Bobbi Nicol
Sam Neis

They say one transitions from jogger to runner the moment one register for a race. I say we transition from a runner to a proud Manitoban Runner the moment we take out an MRA membership.

It's a good day to be alive, but hold onto your hat!