Students stay the course at Iona
Iona Academy welcomed over 1,000 students and scores of teachers and parent volunteers to its annual cross-country run on Friday, Oct. 5, at the beloved St. Raphael’s institution.
It was a dazzling fall day with perfect temperatures for the challenging cross- country run that pits 22 schools from every public school in StormontDundas- Glengarry. Races start at 700 metres for the little ones in Grades 1 and 2 and move up to the heart-bursting 3,000 metres for Grade 8 boys and girls.
All-round athlete and sportswoman, 11- year- old Isabelle Gillard, a Grade 6 student from Lady of Good Counsel Catholic School in Ingleside, trained for weeks for the 2,000-metre event by chasing behind her sister driving a ATV cross- country through the woods.
On race day, Isabelle had her eye on finishing among the leaders, but when a friend fell sick and began to wobble because of a stitch, Isabelle held back and encouraged her classmate to stay in the race.
She crossed the finish line among the last finishers but was delighted with her race and her day, her favourite school event.
The winner of the Grade 6 Girls 2,000 metre race was LéaMaude Lajoie of Lochiel who attends Elda- Rouleau in Alexandria. With her father, teacher and volunteer Marc Lajoie, looking on, Léa-Maude finished ahead of the pack and was still fresh as she was awarded her first-place ribbon.
She placed second in last year’s Grade 5 race event.
Elda-Rouleau also claimed victory in the Grade 6 boys 2,000metre when Macauley Baleine, 11, from Fassifern, crossed the finish line first.
Like many, Macauley needed to replenish some calories, and after the race headed for the
food tables for a slice of pizza.
Among the dozens of teachervolunteers at the event was Pam Gould who teaches Grade 1 and 2 at Iona.
“Once again, we’ve hit a good day for the run,” said Mrs. Gould who was posted at the first leg of the race to watch that no spectators crossed the race route. “The kids always have such a good time.”
From the looks of it, everyone was having a wonderful time. The expansive lawn in front of Iona Academy was spread with students who huddled in happy laughing groups.
The scene was reminiscent of a Scouts jamboree with hun- dreds of exhilarated young people everywhere you looked.
France Bourget, dressed in eye-catching turquoise, was the lead organizer for the event and was kept busy at the start line making sure each grade was lined up for a perfect start.
The run's scenic route started out with a loop around the school and adjacent historic Bishop's House in St. Raphael’s, among the oldest and most historic buildings in Ontario.
From there, the students headed out for a jaunt through the woods and finally back down scenic Frog Hollow Road before their finish before 1,500 cheering students, teachers and volunteers.
The event was the 27th annual Iona Run, an event that promotes physical activity and fitness and also sportsmanship and camaraderie.
1,000 students take part in 27th annual run