Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Two Stalwarts Honoured by their Community

This evening at the Kenaston Running Room Aldo Furlan and Lorraine Walton were honoured for their devotion to Winnipeg's running community.  They are known widely in running circles and are dearly loved by all.  These two stalwarts give freely of their time and expertise, expecting nothing in return save the warmth of a hug or the good cheer of a smile. Yes, these two are well deserving of our accolades.

About 75 people stood alongside Running Room founder John Stanton and cheered mightily for Lorraine and Aldo. Manitoba Marathon Race Director, Rachel Munday, was present  along with Event Director, Chris Walton. The Iron Man Crew, fresh from victory, were there in force and added strength to the evening. There was levity. There were tears. Their was warmth all around. But you ask, "was there cake".

Relax friends, runners love their cake and there was plenty to be had (as we quietly estimate calories and burn time... Oh just a sliver please, I'm training for ... ). 

Lorraine Walton and John Stanton
Lorraine Walton is retiring from almost 10 years as manager of the Kenaston Running Room.  She was roasted for her ability to "twist the arms" of pace bunnies and clinic instructor.  Having had my arm twisted many times by Lorraine I can personally attest to the twist... it doesn't quite hurt, it's not full force, but it's a hair's breadth from a total snap.  Yes, she looks sweet on the outside, but we know she's a real dynamo, a real leader, and a real good person.

Lorraine is not retiring to greener pastures.  She says she will continue to be active in the community. She promised she will come back as a pace bunny and clinic instructor.  She will make the best clinic instructor.  She's dedicated, hard working, knowledgable and, by gosh, she has the shoe clinic nailed!

Lorraine ended her presentation in near-tears, holding back for later. Rachel was seen drying her eyes off in the corner and several others smiled pensively as Lorraine spoke of the true love she holds for her community, her family.

Thank you Lorraine Walton. We are better, stronger, healthier because of you.

Aldo Furlan and John Stantio
Aldo Furlan was presented with the Running Room Volunteer of the Year award by Chris Walton. Aldo is a friend to many but I like to think our friendship runs deeper than most. Aldo is lovingly known for his ~ abstract ~ bizarre ~  thinking.  I tease Aldo saying before I met him I was 6' 2" with a full head of hair and was frequently mistaken for Robert Redford.  Having worked and played with Aldo for ten years I'm now a mere shadow of my former self.  If that what it takes to call Aldo my friend then I consider myself a winner.

Chris Walton embraces Aldo Furlan
Aldo is a founding member of Ted's Run for Literacy.  His contribution to the little race that could is invaluable. His expertise and willingness to help out in any capacity, his unbridled energy, his positivity, his humour, and so much more has contributed strongly to the success of Ted's Run for Literacy (September 22, 2019... just saying).  Aldo goes further than anyone can reasonably expect of a volunteer and then he goes beyond the impossible.  We are deeply gratified (and lucky) to have Aldo on our committee.

Twice a weekend all summer Aldo 'pops up' on trails in and around Winnipeg. He provides tired runners with the hydration and sustenance necessary to complete their goals. He chats and laughs with the runners and makes them feel good about themselves and their goals.  He volunteers with dozens of races. He is an executive member of Manitoba Runners' Association. Quite frankly, our community is stronger, much, stronger for Aldo.

Thank you Aldo Furlan.

It's a good day to be alive in the presence of Lorraine and Aldo.