New race day celebrates Mi’kmaq runner
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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