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Friday, June 21, 2013

Unbreakable Father's 5K

We spent Father’s Day weekend with Helen’s parents in Port Credit, Mississauga. It is a charming small town that has a feel of summer resort, a popular get-away for Torontonians. Like Forerunners in Vancouver, Runner’s Mark is a local running store thriving due to its expertise, quality of service and commitment to the community of Port Credit. Working with high-schools and local charities for youth mental-health, the store organizes a 5K Father’s Day race attracting about 500 participants each year.
Helen’s dad and I registered and showed up on a very wet Sunday morning. Despite pouring rain, the enthusiasm, cheerfulness and enjoyment from runners, organizers and volunteers were contagious and uplifting. It was so nice to see many high-school students participating and having fun.
I could not help but enjoy the simplicity and authenticity of this event so different from big city marathons I have done recently: Boston, Chicago, New York, Berlin, or even Ottawa with its 25,000 runners. Running the scenic course along the lake, I was thinking about my dad who passed away 13 years ago, about responsibilities and rewards of being a parent, about my son Robert who was doing so well living on his own in Montreal and just finished the first year of university, and about my little baby Jasper who was giving us so much joy and happiness.

Twenty two minutes later I crossed the finish line. It stopped raining. Sunshine was peeking through the clouds. It was time to change in the nearby Starbucks and walk a couple of blocks to the Royal Legion building where volunteers served breakfast.
Proudly wearing my finisher’s medal it occurred to me that I just received the biggest medal for the shortest and the smallest race I did so far.  This one is special. Unbreakable!

Run Strong!

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