Saturday, September 16, 2017

Street Feet Run Well, Point Douglas Race Report

Waldo, Intrepid Reporter, and Mickey.... hanging out in Point Douglas.
Photo credit Bridgette Robinson.
There is something in the air around the Point Douglas Norquay Community Centre that's fresh and energizing.  Maybe it's the lingering smoke from the community oven or perhaps it's the sweet grass blessing, or the musty, mighty Red flowing softly by and by.

Yes, there's something in the air, I can't quite nail it, but it's lovely and welcoming, sweet and warm. I love this neighbourhood, this race, this spirit, I love it openly with all my heart.

"This is how we do it in Point Douglas"
Mwaka Kaonga
"It's the community I love" says Bridgette Robinson "it's what makes me happy." Bridgette is one of five committee members who volunteer tirelessly year round to bring this event to life every September. It's a small event of about 100 participants which raises about $2000. The money is divided equally between the Graffiti Art Program, Norquay Community Centre, and the North Point Douglas Women's Centre.
Point Douglas Women's Resource Centre, 221 Austin
We need to support small, local, independent, non-corporate running events before they are swallowed by large, for-profit events.  I run to support the Women's Centre because it's a beacon of hope in this diamond-in-the-rough neighbourhood.  Our premier (don't get me started) has significantly reduced funding to the centre and it's at risk of closing. A cheque for just under $700 is in the mail from the Point Douglas Race Committee; it's not much, but every cent helps!

Run local, you'll feel good.

This 6th annual Point Douglas run is a true gem.  The course is grand old Winnipeg riverbank and bridges.  We run on mud trails and take short cuts through backyards and back lanes.  The police flash their siren and cheer runners from their cruiser. We bring smiles to locals and startle dogs on leash. Children and adults laugh at Waldo and Mickey and wind blown reporters, brides and bananas... and we run, and we laugh deeply from the belly.

My how we laugh.
And we talk.
And we philosophize.
And we are blessed by elder.
And we wonder.

Oh and the food? It's prepared on site by none other than Talia, owner/ operator of The Tallest Poppy another local independent Winnipeg gem.  Do you need any more reasons to put this race on your radar!  Didn't think so.


North Point Douglas Women's Centre
Vision and Mission Statements. 
So dear friends, please support your local, not-for-profit running events. They add such texture and colour to our neighbourhoods.  And, if you happen to have an extra $20 why not donate it to the North Point Douglas Women's Centre. They really need it and you will feel so damn good. Skip church tomorrow and move your feet.

Yo, it's a good day to be alive.

Mike

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Winnipeg Investors Group 10 10 30 2017 Race Report


"Perfect" is the superlative that immediately comes to mind when reflecting on today's annual Winnipeg 10 10 30. Everything ticked and hummed like a BMW convertible cruising the Autobahn.

The course has improved since the last time I ran the 30 km in 2014. The stretch along Sturgeon Creek is spectacular (another superlative... they just keep coming). The best change from my eye is the absence of the annoying 'add on' penalty lap through Assiniboine Park's Formal Garden on the return. I hate penalty laps!

The volunteers were Winnipeg's finest with smiling faces and lots of curbside cheering.  The water stations were located strategically along the 30 km course offering both water and Gatorade.  One station even had some granola bars which really came in handy (thanks Kathy).  Just when I thought, "hmmm I need some hydration", there appeared a group of smiling happy volunteers only too pleased to assist.   The only pet peeve were the teeny plastic cups for water, holding 2 ounces at most.  At every station I had to ask for a second or even a third. This is obviously wasteful and time consuming for the busy runner with his eyes on the prize.

My favourite water station. But what's with all that green?
Photo credit Lorraine Walton

It was also nice to see Steve J managing the timing.  You know the results will be flawless when he's at the timing-helm.  Aldo Furlan managed the back half of the 30 km ensuring things were done right and to his high standard.  Lorraine Walton was busy on the course stocking water stations and providing good cheer and hugs. The lead cyclists and sweeps, Pietra, Bill, Dorothy (and others) were outstanding (loving my superlatives), and kept us safe.

Race Director, Chris Walton, is proving to be an asset in Winnipeg's running community. A complete neophyte several years ago, he now has a solid track record of successful events.  He has a tremendous team behind him, but the buck stops at the race director. Everything from pins to bibs to emergency plans, go through the race director.  It's an onerous task, some say thankless.  Well done Chris... you do us proud.

An open question to Chris;  why do you not kick this course another six kilometers down Sturgeon Creek making it a full marathon course?  Just asking, not to take away from today's incredible (superlative) amazing (another one), magnificent (is that too many) 10 10 & 30.

Oh, the coolest thing about the 30 km course? Carly and I agree it's having a cop stop traffic, even busses, while we tear freely through red lights. Now that's cool!

It's a good day to be alive.

Mike