Sunday, May 5, 2013.
The Gods were smiling on WPS Half Marathon Organizers today.
Clear blue Manitoba skies and a crisp +4° C temperature meant the twenty-eight hundred (2,800) or so runners hitting the pavement this year were going to be in for a great run. According to race director Nick Paulet, the ninth (9th) annual event is expected to raise funds in excess of $110,000. Race proceeds go to the Manitoba Division of the Canadian Cancer Society.
The demographics of the crowd were diverse and inspiring. From preteens, to teens, to twenty somethings right up to senior citizens, all proudly displaying their racing bibs. As my wife and I mingled in the crowd we stopped to chat with a few runners to learn what motivates people to push themselves to run the 13.1094 miles, an impressive accomplishment by anyone’s standard.
The first participants we spoke to were a family from Bird Lake, a trio of highly motivated runners who use the WPS Half as a tool to help them maintain their physical fitness. And fit they are, mom Brenda has run in all nine (9) WPS Half Marathon events while husband Blaine was hitting the road for his third (3rd). Their son Jesse (16) was running in his second race and credits his parents for inspiring him to stay fit and run in the event. They all agreed the WPS Half was a highly organized top-notch event and praised event organizers.
Eleni Wener and Lindsey Leipsic are “besties” who inspire each other to run in the race to stay fit and to participate in the Community. Eleni ran in last years event while Lindsey was hitting the pavement in her first WPS Half. These ambitious women enjoy the scenic run along the river and also praised race organizers for a well planned event.
Cancer survivor Lee Mcginnis and daughter Lori were enthusiastically supporting Lee’s partner Corinne Dixon who was running the event for the first time. Lee was diagnosed with large B-cell lymphoma three (3) years ago and subsequently underwent chemotherapy to destroy a seven (7) pound cancerous tumour that was found in his stomach. A year and a half ago Lee had stem cell transplant surgery. Lori has participated in two (2) half marathon relay runs.
It was clear from our conversations, reasons for participating in the WPS Half Marathon are diverse, individual and often times extremely emotional and personal. Whether you run to honour a loved one lost to cancer, or to support a survivor, or to simply motivate yourself or a friend to stay physically fit matters not. The event is all about being part of a Community that comes together to fight for a common goal. That goal is to take part in the fight to eradicate cancer and to enhance the quality of life for people living with cancer.
The proceeds raised in the 2013 WPS Half Marathon are sure to go a long way to help make that prospect a reality.
An event like the WPS Half Marathon has many moving parts. Course planning, Traffic control, pedestrian control, participant registration, participant services, medical, physiotherapy, food, beverage, medals….the list is almost endless. WPS Half Marathon Organizers obviously left nothing to chance in their preparation for this event. Congratulations to the Organizing Committee and all Volunteers for making the 2013 WPS Half Marathon a tremendous success.
From the feedback we received today, your work is very much appreciated.
(For results, go to WPS Half Marathon web site at www.wpshalfmarathon.ca)