Front Page of Newspapers, Hot Springs, and the Salish Canoe Naming Ceremony … Oh ya and 3 More Runs Complete!

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photo credit to Archie Stoker Sr.

photo credit to Archie Stoker Sr.

It’s been awhile since my last post and a lot of running has been accomplished!

Run #2.

After my last post in Cranbrook, we went back to the communities we had done the Health Screenings on and participated in their community 10 K walk/run.  Needless to say it was much smaller and modest than we expected but it was still a great experience!  It helped confirm that I’ve always hated track workouts because of the pure concept that you’re running in a circle and not “going” anywhere.  I’m more of a destination runner… let me run to meet friends, or for coffee or food and I’ll run for hours but please please don’t make me run in circles!  The gophers had reeked havoc on the field we were running through so by the time the 10 K was over we were thankful we didn’t lose any of the troops to an ankle injury.

On the way home from the run event we spotted the famous Fairmont Hot Springs Resort and decided to ditch the runners and trade them in for itsie bitsie teenie weenie bikinis.  That was an amazing experience and a great way to unwind after a long few days of running, travel and work.  Despite the claims that the springs “cure all illnesses” my body didn’t seem to recover any quicker.  I was still extremely sick with a flu on this trip so each day was a bit of a struggle and I was happy to head back to Vancouver to my own bed.

Run #3.

Less than 12 hours after arriving home from Cranbrook we were boarding another toy sized plane to Haida Gwai to do another set of Health Screenings and help out with their 5K or 10K RunWalk.

Haida Gwai’s event was incredible.  The two communities of Massett and Skidegate gathered for the 2nd year to join together at the Haida Tlell Grounds to celebrate health, spring and community by running together.  Because the two communities met in the middle to start the run the route was…

2.5 K towards Massett, then a water station and looping back to the middle start point and straight out 2.5 K towards Skidegate, before indulging in another water station at a beautiful ocean view point and turning back to finish the event at the the middle (the Tlell grounds).

Our role in this run wasn’t to race it was to support the amazing community members taking part in this event.  We had mother pushing babies, half marathon runners, marathons runners, and elders using canes all participating together.  We got the #highfive train going and because of the looping it was awesome to see all of the participants despite their running or walking speed #highfive(ing) and encouraging each other.  I got to run with some great local people and learn their stories.  Lynn and I were running along side a boy about the same age as me who has grown up in Haida Gwaii, it was so interesting to hear about his affinity to nature and that he had never been on an escalator because he had never been to the mainland! Unbelievable! He tried to end at 5K but we were able to get him to join us in the entire 10K distance which he completed with ease and felt so empowered once he was finished he started immediately planning to train with the local running group to complete the local half marathon!  That was a great reward! Once we finished (and even got medals placed around our necks!) Rainy and I headed back our to run people in.  We picked people up with around 1 K to go and ran with them in letting them drift off of us and making sure that the persevered and ran the entire way instead of walking into the finish line.

All in all Haida Gwaii was amazing and a once in a lifetime experience.  The natural environment was serenely calming and treacherous at the same time, filled with eagles and ravens.  We did a “small” hike to Spirit Lake before heading home.  This small hike was around the lake in the mountains and was very tame until we saw the hand drawn sign indicating a “lookout”.  After 2.5 hours of bushwhacking we made it to the ropes but unfortunately ran out of daylight and never got to see the lookout.  We were disappointed we didn’t make ti to the top but at least we now have a reason to go back!

PS- Rainy and I managed to make it onto the front page of the Haida Gwaii Newspaper   The photo is right after we got pelted with massive hail in a blustery storm during the 10 K event.

Run #4.

Welcome to Port Hardy!

After waiting 7 hours for the 45 minute flight to Port Hardy we started to get the idea that while Vancouver was roasting in 20-something heat, Port Hardy was going to be cool and foggy.  How right we were! The 100 ft high wall of fog that rolls in each day is engulfing in the town of  Port Hardy.  We eventually made it in and were able to do the community Health Screenings.  We then got invited to a unique ceremony at the waters edge; the naming and inaugural paddle in a newly restored traditional Salish Tribal Journey canoe.  The community came together to celebrate this amazing piece of artwork and we got to paddle in the canoes!

After a quick lunch we headed over to the local high school to set up registration and water stations for the 5 K or 10 K RunWalk.  We registered 96 people for this great first time event and it went off without a hitch.  The route was a beautiful mix of hills, mountains, water ways, and even went through the heart of town.  The participants were even invited to dinner at the school cooked by community members.  As it was Rainy’s birthday we decided to celebrate back at the hotel ( there was NO WHERE else to celebrate).  So without plates we went forks into a cookies and cream cake.. I’ll post the picture of our efficient demolition as soon as I can.

Well there we have it Runs #2,3,and 4 are complete!!

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