5th annual River Flats Run today
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.”