In the crisp and sunny Thanksgiving morning of October 10, I donned running pants instead of my usual Thanksgiving wardrobe of turkey-eating pants. Of all the races I’ve done so far in 2016, this was my first 5K in our hometown of Guelph, Ont. The Guelph Thanksgiving Day races are steeped in history as a longstanding race since it was first established in 1894, and has become a tradition for many families in our city.
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My husband used to run in this race as a child. His uncle would give him money as he crossed the finish line. Now, decades later, our kids would be participated in the race together, along with myself, their aunt Sue and uncle Darryl, cousin Liam. The younger cousins participated in the kids’ races, representing their racing debuts. My niece Avery, who is three years old, ran as hard as she could to the finish line, only to run into her mom’s cheering arms before she reached the arches of the finish line.
It was incredibly special for me to run this race in our home town. In a sense, it was a little bit like watching my entire life this far play out before me.
As I ran, members of my family were spread out on the course with some ahead of me and some behind me and some on the sidelines giving their support. Old classmates from high school were running in the race and cheering from the sidelines. I also knew plenty of the volunteers stationed along the route cheering me on– my friend Richard, my friend’s brother Murray and a past manager.
All had smiles on their faces, a positive attitude and everyone was saying supportive and encouraging words. It was a heart-warming experience and equally fascinating how so many people from your past can all come together on race day.