Pictou-Advocate-opinion

Good vibrations in Miles events

Opinion

For some things, we can’t thank people enough.

One of those things is the events associated with the organizers of events that include the Johnny Miles Running Event Weekend. The group has expanded its largesse over the years to include other events, and they now number five: the Resolution Run on New Year’s Eve, the Miss Miles Classic on Mother’s Day, the Run for the Lobster that will take place this year on July 10 and the Melmerby Triathlon on July 23 and 24.

What the organizing committee has brought is excellence.

The group’s wheels constantly turn to make everything better, to achieve a higher standard of excellence.

Hosting a separate evening for special awards in conjunction with the Johnny Miles Running Event Weekend is a case in point. That is what took place last Thursday at Glasgow Square. It is a special event on its own.

The result is the induction of six more people associated with all aspects of distance running into the Glenn Chenell Big Dog Hall of Fame: women’s inductees Debbie MacDonald, Kathy Saulnier and Betty Pound and men’s inductees Ken Hetherington, Wayne Gerrior and Bill MacEachern.

MacEachern’s honour is significant. Health problems have recently prevented him from running this year, let alone the marathon distance he ran with such consistency. He was hailed for his achievements on the North Mountain leg of the Cabot Trail Relay, the leg where he set a record in 1991 that stood for six years.

Ron Paris was a worthy recipient of the Danny MacLeod Inspirational award, as were Peter and Diane White in receiving the Verna Van Bommel Award for their work in taking the Run Against Racism championed by Henderson Paris to a new place with the event called MORE, the Marathon of Respect and Equality.

The late Floyd Williston was honoured with the Williston award presented in memory of his brother Johnny Williston, who founded the Johnny Miles Marathon in 1975, and wrote a book about its race patron called Johnny Miles: Nova Scotia’s Marathon King.

It is reaffirming how organizers have tried to serve two masters: a high degree of competitive excellence and mass participation. To be on Provost Street with hundreds massed at the starting area and summoned forward with the starting horn is a celebration of human endeavour that is difficult to measure or match. The one thing that comes close is the adulation runners and walkers receive as they finish where they started.

A town shuts down part of itself to motor vehicle traffic for a few things worthwhile.
The Johnny Miles Running Event Weekend is one of them. We who participate are the lucky ones.

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