Starting and ending at the Big Fiddle, this is the single biggest sports event for kids in Cape Breton. Keep in mind too that what you see on race day is just the tip of an iceberg. Planning for this event is COMPLEX! and starts a year in advance. Dozens of volunteers work with kids at dozens of schools for months in advance in the schools Run Club. Over 1600 kids trained and trained to get ready to run on the day of the race.
This program has been a little controversial amongst DoctorsNS members. Some feel that it is a large amount of money (their dues money) that is being spent on this program, by an organization that should be focused more on issues directly of interest to physicians. Others (like me!) feel that this is a program that does so much to promote health that it is more than worthwhile financially and otherwise. I should add that several other provinces have copied this program, because it has been so shockingly successful in getting well north of 10,000 kids running (PS: thanks to Kerry Copeland at DoctorsNS for all she does with this)
I'm about to tread onto risky ground by thanking people. Whenever I do I always leave someone out who I should have mentioned (it's like a wedding invite list!). Locally, Bernadette MacLellan, Nick Burke, Dave Gabriel, Karen Campbell, Michel Gratton, and a number of other generous and amazing people put more work than you can imagine into making this happen. Although it all seem simple come race day, there is a lot of planning and work that goes into making a safe, fun, successful event.
My favourite story about this race was told to me by a parent whose 8 year old got very excited about training, and wanted mom to run with her. This required mom to start training as well. Mom lost 15 pounds during the lead-up months to the race, and tells me she hasn't felt this good in years. What a great ripple effect.
Thanks a lot to Patrick Doyle who took some amazing photos of his kids, and the race in general. Holy smokes, they sure look like the real deal as runners. I had the privilege of giving out medals at the finish line, and can say that Patrick's photos capture the joy that this event brings to so many kids. (PS: you can tell the difference between Patrick's photos and mine because he's a professional cinematographer - ie: mine are the amateur-looking ones)