There are many ways to raise money for a good cause, but the members of the South-West Oxford and Drumbo, Ontario, fire departments, as well as two paramedics from Oxford County, decided to help raise money for the Tema Conter Memorial Trust the hard way.
On Sunday, these individuals ran the five kilometre event at the 2015 Around The Bay Road Race in Hamilton, Ontario, wearing their full gear.
Helmet, face mask, balaclava, Innotex bunker coat and pants, and oxygen tank; all of which added up to about 70 extra pounds of weight to carry. They did wear running shoes instead of boots, but then again, this was a road race.
Brittany Russell, below, led the team – which included paramedics Tanya Wiells and Andrea Huff, firefighters Mike Korevaar, David Johnston, Brandon Hicks, and Jason Nigh – from the start of the race outside FirstOntario Centre and finished their run to a rousing ovation inside the arena about 38 minutes later. Subtract two stops for water refills of about five minutes and the group finished in just over half an hour.
The group ran to raise awareness and funds for the men and women in the correctional, emergency and military services who witness tragic events every day and who sometimes find it very difficult to cope with the human suffering they experience up close. Their local Oxford County Critical Incident Stress Management team also benifited from the money raised. “There was a man at the finish line who went to school with Tema Conter, the woman who was the reason all this started,” said Russell. “That was surreal to see such a connection and made us feel really good about what we had just accomplished.”
The Tema Conter Memorial Trust credo is one we don’t think about until the people who are trained to come to your aid need help themselves: Heroes Are Human.
About $3,000 was raised for the trust, said Russell, who has run the 5k and 30k events at Hamilton in the past.
We hear of military members suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and even some of them taking their own lives because of what they experienced. But so far this year alone, seven first responders and emergency personnel and three military members have died by suicide across the country.
In the premier 30k event, Paul Kimaiyo Kimugul, a 35-year-old from Kenya, crossed the finish line first in a time of 1 hour, 33 minutes and 48 seconds.
Kip Kangogo, below, who finished last year’s race in second place, prepares before the run…
…but came in fifth overall in front of fellow runner Dancan Kasia, below right, who finished in tenth spot.
Some of the many thousands of recreational runners jammed York Boulevard for the start of the 30k race which made it’s way east from downtown Hamilton, back west along Beach Boulevard and then through Burlington’s north shore area before coming back around into the downtown area.
The oldest road race in North America, the Around The Bay Road Race has been an annual event in Hamilton since 1894.
Many runners came in groups, but others, below, found the best way to prepare for their run was to prepare in isolation and be alone with their thoughts.
Some, perhaps, ran their race with thoughts of a celebratory beverage after the race.