New race day cel­e­brates Mi’kmaq run­ner

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BASE­BALL

Mi’kmaq run­ner Michael Thomas gets his day in the sun Sept. 19 when the Mi’kmaq Con­fed­er­acy of P.E.I. and the Town of Stratford hold a multi-dis­tance run­ning event to hon­our the P.E.I. Sport Hall of Famer.

In­cluded in the inau­gu­ral event is a one-kilo­me­tre kids fun run, a five-kilo­me­tre fun run and walk plus a 10-mile road race, a dis­tance that was Thomas’ spe­cialty.

Pro­ceeds ben­e­fit the P.E.I. Abo­rig­i­nal Sports Cir­cle, which pro­motes phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity among abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple on P.E.I. with a spe­cial fo­cus on youth.

Len­nox Is­land First Na­tion Chief Matilda Ram­jat­tan said the day is a win-win sit­u­a­tion.

“This event hon­ours one of P.E.I.’s ath­letic he­roes and a Mi’kmaq icon,” said Ram­jat­tan. “An event in­fus­ing the joy of run­ning with Mi’kmaq cul­ture is a great way to celebrate the legacy of Michael Thomas.”

Ad­vance reg­is­trants re­ceive a replica of the Abeg­weit Am­a­teur Ath­let­ics As­so­ci­a­tion run­ning sin­glet worn by Thomas. There will also be prizes and a show­case of tra­di­tional Mi’kmaq food and cul­ture.

The five-kilo­me­tre and 10-mile routes will in­cor­po­rate the bronze statue of Thomas placed on the Stratford wa­ter­front by the town in 2014.

Thomas was in­ducted into the hall in 1980 andAbeg­weit First Na­tion Chief Brian Fran­cis said his legacy con­tin­ues on in other ways.

“We are happy to part­ner with the Town of Stratford on this event and we are par­tic­u­larly pleased that some de­scen­dants of Michael Thomas have been en­gaged in the event and will be par­tic­i­pat­ing,” said Fran­cis.

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