Under a bluebird sky late in the afternoon of May 21, runners of all ages met on the track at Port Hardy Secondary School for a 5km or 10km Run or Walk. The event was part of SportMedBC’s Aboriginal RunWalk Program, dedicated to improving the health and fitness of Aboriginal communities in British Columbia through training programs that lead to completion of a distance run or walk. The runners and walkers followed a route through town that included the waterfront, with those doing 10km completing the loop twice. More than 100 participants took part in the event.
Event organizer Stephanie Nelson, Connections Worker at Port Hardy Secondary School, explained that the goal of the program and event was to promote healthy lifestyles. 50 participants took part in the 13 week program. As well as those participants and other young people, the run was a true family event with many parents and other adults lacing up their running shoes, including members of the dragon boat team and recent 100km run finisher Steve Holm. Participants each received a red bandana and fuelled up with trail mix packets, watermelon and oranges beforehand.
After registration, around 5 p.m., all participants met in a circle in the middle of the track in the late afternoon sun for a warm welcome by Nelson, and a celebration warm-up with a traditional song that saw the group moving to the beat of drums. After the warm up everyone gathered on the track and began the run/walk on a friendly note by completing a unity lap together around the track before departing the school grounds.