A fit­ting tribute for fallen RCMP of­fi­cer and run­ner

Canadian Running - - NEWS -

Since it was un­veiled in June 2016, the mon­u­ment to the three fallen rcmp of­fi­cers – Con­sta­bles Dou­glas James Larche, Dave Joseph Ross, and Fabrice Ge­orges Ge­vau­dan – have of­ten drawn me­men­tos. Some­times f low­ers. Na­dine Larche, Doug’s widow, goes weekly with their daugh­ters to sprin­kle sparkles. The three of­fi­cers died in the line of duty in 2014 when a lone gun­man went on a shoot­ing ram­page in Moncton, N.B., one of Canada’s dead­li­est at­tacks on the rcmp. All three of the of­fi­cers had young fam­i­lies. Doug Larache was also pas­sion­ate about run­ning.

Some­times Na­dine goes more than once a week. “I feel peace there,” she says. “I feel closer to Doug.” The mon­u­ment over­looks the trails that skirt Moncton’s down­town, along­side the grassy water­front of the Petit­co­diac river.

The Sun­day af­ter the Legs for Lit­er­acy Run, one of Doug’s favourites, where he ran his first marathon in 2010, some­one had left a some­thing new. A fin­isher’s medal.

“It was so touch­ing,” says Na­dine. Be­cause, for Doug, “run­ning was just part of who he was.” She re­mem­bers how, when they’d go for din­ner at her mother’s house, he’d put a change of clothes in the car and, while the rest of the fam­ily drove over, he’d log some miles.

“I didn’t ex­pect the crazy amount of at­ten­tion. It re­ally shows the im­pact that the three guys had on the city of Moncton. It was re­ally touch­ing, es­pe­cially for our lit­tle mon­keys, our lit­tle girls.”

Na­dine helped to de­sign the mon­u­ment, and had in­cluded casts of sev­eral of his fin­isher’s medals – in­clud­ing a Legs for Lit­er­acy medal – and a pair of run­ning shoes. (She also in­cluded a Cast­away Cay medal from when the fam­ily went on a Dis­ney cruise to­gether, an out­line of Mickey Mouse ears, “but if I had put them all in,” she says, “it would have been too much.”) The girls, she says, were very in­volved in the base of the mon­u­ment. Three bal­let slip­pers, one for each girl. They were 10, 9, and 4 when he died.

The fam­ily of­ten would par­tic­i­pate in runs as a fam­ily, with Na­dine and the girls do­ing the kids’ run and Doug run­ning the main event.

“I used to be a life­guard, I used to run along the beach,” says Na­dine. “I’ve done the clin­ics at the Run­ning Room, the learn to run, the 5k. But for me, right now, I’m in an off cy­cle.”

Na­dine says that she now knows who put the medal there, but she isn’t telling.

Brian Robert­son re­mem­bers the first time he met Doug, at a small event along­side the river. Af­ter he fin­ished, he stood at the fin­ish line giv­ing ev­ery­one else high-fives. “And that’s how I met him. I crossed the fin­ish line, he gave me a high five, then said ‘ Hi, my name is Doug.’” Sup­port­ing other run­ners no mat­ter whether he knew them or not was, says Brian, quin­tes­sen­tial Doug.

“I was the clinic in­struc­tor at Run­ning Room for the marathon he did, and I was a pacer for his group. I re­mem­ber him say­ing, this was a long time ago, that a marathon wasn’t for him. He did one just to say he could, but it took too much for him to be away from his fam­ily.” Soon, a friend­ship evolved.

He wasn’t a “go-go-go” type of run­ner at all, says Brian. “For him it was pure and sim­ple, go out and run and en­joy be­ing out­side.”

Brian, too, was touched by the anony­mous ges­ture of the fin­isher’s medal. The whole mon­u­ment is en­tirely apro­pos. While the other of­fi­cers, who were not f rom Moncton, are fac­ing their homes, says Brian, “it’s amaz­ing. Doug is fac­ing the trails.”— Jay Smith

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