On Sunday, June 7, 2015 at 9:00 a.m., the 3rd annual Mothers Against Drunk Driving Strides For Change 5 kilometre event went off without a hitch. The morning broke sunny and cool with virtually no wind – absolutely perfect conditions. The setting – J.C. Saddington Park in Port Credit (south Mississauga), Ontario, Canada – added to the quality of the event. Situated on the shores of Lake Ontario, the park is part of the Waterfront Trail that stretches from Oakville to downtown Toronto.
Being on the waterfront in a city park, we were restricted to 400 participants. This year, the event sold out with a fantastic mix of runners, walkers and baby strollers. Many young families participated this year along with numerous runners from my Team Over The Top and Southdown Strider groups. In combination with over 100 volunteers and MADD staff plus fantastic support from numerous sponsors large, medium and small, it was truly a special morning. Local Port Credit merchants who supported the event are listed below:
- The Brogue
- Snug Harbour
- The Three Stooges Restaurant
- Sunset Grill
- Timothy’s World Coffees
- Royal Windsor Auto Repair
- Paul Lewis, RMT
- Nicole Bates, RMT, Reiki practitioner
- Gears Bike Shop
Many thanks for their support – it was greatly appreciated. Of course, all funds raised through sponsorship, donations, the silent auction and the live auction went toward supporting the great work done by MADD in the ongoing quest to eliminate drunk driving. A significant percentage of every dollar raised goes toward education, government lobbying for tougher anti- drunk and drug driving laws and support programmes for victims. It is one of MADD’s key goals to keep administration costs as low as possible whilst still delivering critically important services.
The event itself featured some fantastic top-finishing times for both the men and women along with the participation of 3 of my barefoot running colleagues! Of course, one was my grand-niece, Esme (there she is again! See photo included), pointing at a coffin-wearing participant wondering “what ARE those things, Uncle Jeff?”. The others were my running mates, Paula & Rick, who do NOT often run fully barefoot (they usually wear the Vibram Five Fingers). They ran wonderfully with Rick finishing 7th overall and Paula powering to a 26 minute finish. Both said their feet survived in spite of the lack of preparation; thus, I had to mention “you must join me on barefoot runs REGULARLY now”!
As the co-race director, I’m never certain how events like this will turn out. So many things out of your control must go well for the event to be considered a success. With God’s blessing of great weather, the city’s support in opening up the park, the hard work of the MADD staff and volunteers, the selfless support of sponsors and the participation of so many people from many parts of Toronto and surrounding communities, the SFC event was definitely a success.
Here’s to an even BETTER event in June, 2016!!