The Family Veronica Built
The event was the Mad Moose Marathon in Prince George Sept. 23. The trail running family that Veronica McIlvenna has built through her years of offering running groups and clinics was evident today. It inspired me to write about the support of a group I was proud to be a part of.
It was a chilly September morning, beautiful blue sky, bright sunshine and no real “Mad Moose” to be seen. What you did see was the “Qtown Cuties”, a group of trail runners in search of this “Mad Moose”. Quesnel was well represented by participants and as many supporters.
The true inspiration of this story comes from the words spoken by Rio Dinu who was the first female Ultra Marathoner (63km)to cross the finish line 6 hours 58 minutes after her dark 5 a.m. start. She was welcomed at the finish line by a crowd of supporters from Quesnel, some participants in the other marathon categories and many who just came to support.
“Running really is not an individual sport, we couldn’t do it without you guys!” Rio later said.
This is so true and we really felt it today.
As every Quesnel participant finished their respective race, each one stuck around and cheered on our fellow “Qtown Cuties”, helping us get across that finish line and sharing in some emotional firsts. At the end of the day it felt like a Quesnel event, we were all that were left. As I shared in the infectious enthusiasm I looked around and saw a family of friends who were brought together by weekly group runs and direction and dedication from McIlvenna’s passion for the trails.
I was so proud to be considered one of the “Qtown Cuties” today, even though it may have been only by association…
Events are what bring us together as a team. It’s the friends and family that came with you and the strangers you’re competing against–after all it is called a race. They are all giving cheers and words of encouragement. Running truly is not an individual sport. Check out an event and you’ll see.
Contributed by Candace Miller, proprietor of Reason2Run and Mad Moose runner.
A healthy contingent of Gold Pan City residents made their way up to Prince George last weekend to take part in the Mad Moose Marathon.
The Marathon had more than a few firsts this year. For the marathon organizers it was the first year they hosted an Ultra Marathon. For Rio Dinu, a Gold Pan City resident, it was her first marathon and her first first in an ultra marathon.
Dinu was excited by her unforeseen success, running 63 km at 6:58:16. She said it was tough because the course followed a trail, which meant it wasn’t a smooth track, adding uneven footing to the tiring nature of the long run.
She said there was great camaraderie amongst the Quesnel contingent which added to the enjoyable nature of the event.
Many of the run club that Dinu runs with were out there on the course along with her, taking part in the ultra, half or full marathon.
It’s these people who helped Dinu get to the condition she is in.
“I just want to thank all the people in my running clinic, because they’re the ones who help me train,” Dinu said.
A total of 16 runners made the pilgrimage up to Prince George to take part in the run, including Dinu.
Dino Aracki finished in the top five in the men’s full marathon, covering 42 km in 4:09:30.
Jocelyn Loomis, Nicole Aracki, Michelle Rodger and Joanne Peacock ran the women’s full marathon finishing sixth through ninth in the category.
Kevin Sturt managed to break into the top ten in the men’s half marathon, finishing in seventh, at 1:39:07.