#MADD #StridesForChangeEvent a Huge Success!

The 5th annual MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) SFC (Strides For Change) 5 kilometre Walk-Run event was held on Sunday, June 4 in J. C. Saddington Park, Port Credit, Ontario, Canada. There was another sell-out crowd on hand (550 participants and well over 100 volunteers!) in spite of the rain that fell for most of the morning. None of the participants seemed too concerned – it was a warm drizzle mainly with no wind and a beautiful, lakeside setting.The event itself is organized to the ‘T’ – the staff and volunteers associated with MADD do everything 1st rate. From the registration process to the awards presentation and live auction, everything is top drawer. As a result, the comments from participants are always positive.The other great thing about the event is distribution of funds raised during the event. They are targeted toward:

  • education programmes for school-aged youth
  • awareness and education materials
  • lobbying of government agencies for more stringent penalties for driving drunk
  • financial support for the victims of drunk drivers

As a result, positive changes are constantly being made at all levels of government. This can only result in fewer incidents of drunk driving.

For the first time in 5 years, the old coach was the only full-on barefooter (and I didn’t even run the course. I rode the route many times over barefoot on my mountain bike! I much prefer RUNNING barefoot!). Many of my running clients DID do the event and all of them were in minimalist footwear of some sort (Vibram FiveFingers, Sockwas, New Balance Minimus, Merrell Glove and so on. Not 1 set of ‘coffins’ in the group.

One of my runners, Terry Rasmussen, was the 2nd place finisher overall. He ran fast and strong throughout. Another of my runners (Kimberly Rosehart, Terry’s wife) guided their son, Edison (a future TOTTer!) along the route. He is a robust 31/2 years young and actually RAN 2 kilometres of the route – and I DO mean RUN!Another of my clients (and longtime friend), Hatem McDadi brought his family to the event as per usual. Only this year, his daughter, India, (age 14) was the 2nd overall female finisher. She shows great promise as a middle distance runner. Her dad and younger brother ran exceedingly well also! They were one of many families who partook in the event.Yet another pair of my youth TOTT runners ran a strong race as well. Braden and Emma have trained with me many times over the past 5 years – they know each other and like to push each other. As you can see in the photo below, they were neck and neck as they approached the finish area.Beyond that, Emma had her sister, Megan (another one of my running clients!), dad Joe, mom Bridget and Megan’s boyfriend, Matt, along as part of clan Leon. It was great seeing all of them having such a wonderful family day.Speaking of family, my younger sister, Diana, and younger brother, Arn, (he hanging out post-run BAREFFOT to support me!) made the trip  to support the cause (and their MUCH older brother). My older sister, Joan, daughter Sarah and granddaughter, Esme (yes, THE 31/4 year old barefoot Esme featured in a few of my blogs!) could not make it out of downtown Toronto (road closures!). Otherwise, my whole family would have been in attendance. Maybe next year!!A special shout goes out to the clan Bertrand (all of whom trained with me over the years). They showed up en masse (Greg, Lynn, Nick, Alex & Addison) with only young Lauren MIA. They have been fantastic supporters of MADD SFC over the years. Kudos to all of you…

Finally, I observed the youngest full-on runner flying toward the finish line. He could not have been more than 7 years young but, my oh my, could he RUN! As you will notice in th ephoto below, he was basically a blur going by me. I never got his name nor exact age – hopefully, he keeps running – maybe even barefoot!Congratulations to my good friend, Andy Murie (the CEO of MADD), Dawn Regan, Cindy Hawryluk, Laura and rest of the MADD team for asnother event well done. They are dedicated to the cause, professional in their approach AND positive results- driven. Here’s to many more successful Strides For Change events as we STRIVE to eliminate drinking and driving



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