5th an­nual River Flats Run today

Medicine Hat News - - COMMUNITY-WEST - TIM KALI­NOWSKI tkali­nowski@medicine­hat­news.com Twit­ter: MHNTimKal

The fifth an­nual River Flats Run will take place at Elm Street School start­ing at 11 a.m. today. The event has be­come a large part of the iden­tity of the sur­round­ing com­mu­nity, says co-founder Michele Frey.

“At the time I worked at Elm Street School as a teacher,” re­mem­bers Frey. “We had a run­ning club and planned to en­ter our run­ning club into some com­mu­nity events for that year. Then the flood hap­pened in June of 2013, which greatly im­pacted the lives of River Flats res­i­dents and the Elm Street School com­mu­nity.

“We or­ga­nized the first run as a way to cel­e­brate the com­mu­nity’s re­silience. It gave the com­mu­nity a place to come to­gether and ac­knowl­edge the ef­fects of the flood and show support for each other.”

Frey says the event kind of took on a life of its own from there, get­ting more than a thou­sand run­ners in its first year and con­tin­u­ing to have strong com­mu­nity support in the River Flats ever since.

“I have no­ticed huge com­mu­nity support for the run,” says Frey. “I know Elm Street School in the days lead­ing up to the run walks around the neigh­bour­hood com­mu­ni­cat­ing the run will be go­ing by and what it is for.

“We will of­ten see res­i­dents along the route come out and cheer for the run­ners as they go by. Peo­ple in that neigh­bour­hood can cel­e­brate who they are and all the great things go­ing on in the neigh­bour­hood, and are able to re­ally show­case that to peo­ple who come from around the city.”

Frey, who no longer teaches at Elm Street, says she is ex­cited to see the River Flats Run carry on in her ab­sence.

“I am ab­so­lutely proud of the com­mu­nity and the school for con­tin­u­ing to pro­mote and support the event,” she de­clares. “I think it is re­ally great for build­ing those re­la­tion­ships within the River Flats and Elm Street School com­mu­nity, but also the en­tire com­mu­nity of Medicine Hat.”

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