Saturday, September 9, 2023

Point Douglas Run 2023

There will always be a small time.
There will always be a small time
There will always be a good time.
Where everybody brings a friend.
There will always be a small time.
Just come and see us now and again.

Corin Raymond (from the album of the same name)

After a three year Covid related hiatus, the 12th annual Point Douglas Run (PDR) is back in spades. Like singer-songwriter Corin Raymond (above), the PDR is small-time. It's not big, not flashy, and not widely known. What they do have however, in explosive abundance, is joy. Lots and lots of pure, unadulterated joy. It's near impossible to participate in this event without feeling unbridled happiness bubble through the brain and course through the heart. One leaves this event feeling a connection to something big and important, something beautiful and diverse. We walk away fulfilled. The PDR simply oozes joy and positivity. 

It's a small-time event like so many other races in this small-time prairie city. It's small in terms of numbers and exposure, but huge in terms of heart. The race committee is committed to improving life for people living in Point Douglas and Main Street Winnipeg. They have raised about $50,000 in 12 short years begging the question what the heck is small about 50 grand? All money raised supports the Norquay Community Centre, the Graffiti Art Programming INC, and my personal favourite, the Point Douglas Women's Resource Centre. It's relevant to note that PDR donates all money raised, meaning they drain their bank account every year starting from net zero at the start of each season. 

The course is eclectic and beautiful as the community it serves. It's curvey and windey, upsey and downsey. It hugs the brown Red River and crosses over the Louise Bridge and later the Disraeli footbridge. It meanders through historic north end Winnipeg along Scotia Avenue. Roadways blend into trails then sidewalks and back again to trails. It's ever changing with smiling volunteers just exactly where you would expect them to be. Multiple encampments remind of why we are running and who we are serving.  The smiling emojis painted on the roadways and signage direct us forward and keep us on the straight and narrow. We all chuckle at the XXX rated trails and question what lays beyond... adults only please.

Triple X-rated optional trail.

Once again Jonas Eastcott pulverized the 10 km course with a 42:39 time while Dick Tunny brought up the rear with grace and a smile. Volunteers lead the way and smiled warmly and cheered loudly. 

Race Director, Bridget Robinson says it best "Today's Point Douglas Run was an uplifting celebration of family, friends, and the community coming together year after year to make a positive difference while having a lot of fun. First Place goes to all those who volunteered, donated, sponsored, ran or walked. Thank you for shining such a wonderful light."

Which way do I go?

Fasty McFastfast, Jonas Eastcott.

Dick bringing up the rear with grace.

Today in Point Douglas we ran our hearts out and we embraced life. We imagined a better world, a world where all children matter, a world where all people are safe, fed and housed. Thank you Point Douglas Run for brining us together for such a wonderful experience. 

It's a good day to be alive.