Nova Scotia runners organize 5k virtual run to support victims’ families
In a positive aftermath of the senseless mass shooting in Nova Scotia on April 18th which left twenty-two people dead, established runners, Luke MacDonald and friend Jody Mattie laced up their shoes and together organized a virtual 5k event called, My Home Course 5k, to raise funds for the victims’ families. The MyHomeCourse5k is exactly what the title says; it’s about running your favourite route from home.
In a Q&A Mattie talked about his role and how one can get involved.
Q: Who is involved in the event and how did the idea come about?
A: The Idea for #MyHomeCourse5k came from Luke MacDonald of Aerobics First in Halifax. He decided to host a fundraiser for our mutual friend who raises money for Team in Training. The concept was super simple: 20 or 30 of us gathered at Luke’s house one Sunday morning and we all race Luke’s 5k route from his house. We all put some money in the hat and then we had coffee and cookies afterward while telling lies about the good ole days. Fun & simple… it’s what community is all about. Since then, we’ve repeated it a few times, including this past January. Now, with the restrictions due to Covid19, he changed the idea to make it a virtual event where each participant has to run their own home course from their own house. In fact, we did one two weeks ago in support Feed Nova Scotia (I beat Luke by 15 seconds lol). Afterward, I said to Luke, “Hey, I’d like to host one in about six weeks and put the money toward the food bank here in Truro.” Well, the very next day we awoke to the news of a gunman on the loose in our area.
Q: Tell us your role in support of the victims’ families?
A: My role is simple. All I did was set up the registration page and ask Luke for his blessing. The amazing people in the running community have wrapped their arms around the concept and taken it from here. Friends like Noel (Paine) have been instrumental in spreading the word by connecting me to you, and Canadian Running magazine etc. Luke and Aerobics first have been huge supporters as they always are with our running community.
Q: What has the feedback been like and how can one support the event?
A: The response has been phenomenal. Obviously, this tragedy has struck a chord with people who want to help. We now have participants from every province, and some from the U.S. as well. I’ve even had people offer to provide prizes! When I first called Luke, I said, “If we get 40 -50 people and raise $1000 it’ll be great!” As I write this, it’s over 320 people and approaching $9,000. It’s exciting to see it grow!
Supporting the event is super easy, simply go to the link to register and / or donate. https://raceroster.com/events/2020/31610/my-home-course-5k-ns-strong
Q: Tell us the impact this senseless tragedy has had on yourself, your family, and the community?
A: It’s clear that this tragedy has had a far reaching impact. Here in rural NS, there aren’t many degrees of separation between most people, so it’s impossible to not be affected in some way. I’m fortunate in that I wasn’t directly impacted, however, a former co-worker and her husband were murdered, the sister of a dear friend was murdered; the mother of another friend and fellow cyclist was murdered. There are several children who no longer have parents, the thought of which is gut wrenching to me. The consequences of this are enormous and far rippling. If our one small contribution can help in any way, then it’s worth it.
All proceeds will go to a special fund administered by the Municipality of Colchester to directly support the surviving victims whose families were taken from them.
More Inspiration: Check out this insightful article on the 3 styles of running.
Author: Christine Blanchette is a freelance writer for Optimyz Magazine print and digital issues and sometimes helps with editing.