PICTOU — Runners were greeted by windy, cool and partly cloudy weather last Thursday for the 2017 MORE run.
The annual Marathon of Respect and Equality began at the visitor information centre near the new roundabout and featured its first stop in downtown Pictou. There, hundreds of students and staff from schools in Pictou filled the slope at Market Square to cheer the runners as they arrived.
Henderson Paris and Ivan Willis, who are this year’s honorary co-chairmen, were among those who addressed the gathering before the runners proceeded to the other local communities along the route.
“I am very pleased and very grateful to be with you,” Willis said, while alluding to the challenges of autism he has overcome while growing up. “Keep trying and have a positive outlook …because the end results will be satisfying.”
Paris once again took part in the event that was established to continue the cause he led for 20 years during the annual Run against Racism.
“I’m so proud to stand and run with him today,” he said, referring to Willis. “We have made huge advancements in fighting racism and incorporating respect. To see this massive crowd of students and adults is wonderful.”
Peter White, who with his wife Diane have led the MORE runs each year, drew on the special feelings he has for Pictou from having grown up in the town and being an educator in its school system.
“To be back in Pictou is a special thing,” he said. “For 28 years we’ve been encouraging people to be respectful of everyone.”
The runners were graced with improving weather conditions as the day progressed.
The event ended at North Nova Education Centre in New Glasgow and was followed by a class assembly at the school.
“We had great support and a beautiful day,” Peter White said. “It was what we could imagine it could be so you can’t ask for more than that.”
Michelle Sutherland and Joan Fraser said they enjoyed taking part in the event once again.
“It was a wonderful day and well-organized,” Fraser said.
“This brings a lot people together, she said. “There were so many kids and that was great.”
Runners proceed past the new Pictou roundabout toward downtown on May 4 during the annual Marathon of Hope and Equality. (Goodwin photo)