First-ever Acadian Festival Road Race set for Sept. 2
Fundraiser for Evangeline School playground upgrades
When Kathleen (Gallant) Couture of Richmond started running about 2 1/2 years ago, it was simply to get in shape so she could keep up with her young granddaughter.
Today, Couture runs to keep healthy, and to serve as an example for her children and grandchild.
As well, she wants to contribute to the community she grew up in, and more specifically raise funds for planned upgrades to the Evangeline School playground.
That’s why she and her sister-in-law, Jennifer (Arsenault) MacWilliams of Wellington, who have participated in a combined total of about 50 races over the years, came up with the idea of organizing the first-ever Acadian Festival Road Race on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 2.
These two members of the Running Room and the P.E.I. Roadrunners are literally inviting everyone to take part. Even if the event is called a race, people can still walk it or go the distance in a wheelchair or a stroller.
All participants will get a participation medal designed specifically for this event, and the male and female champions in each age category will receive an engraved version of the medal.
The two ladies organized a ticket raffle, which raised $1,000, to cover the cost of the medals. Several door prizes will also be presented.
To register in person, visit the new blue administration building on the Acadian Festival grounds, which is accessible from the Cannontown Road driveway. Alternatively, people can register via email firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting www.facebook.com/ courseacadien.
To encourage greater participation, volunteers will have a registration table at the Wellington Co-op on Aug. 19 from 1 to 4 p.m., and at the Evangeline Recreation Centre on Sept. 1 from 1 to 4 p.m. Registrations will also be taken the morning of the race from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
All participants must sign an official registration form. Those aged under 18 years will also need the signature of their parent or guardian. Payments will be accepted at the administration office, or by email money transfer.
A number of volunteers are required to make sure the race goes off without a hitch. Organizers, therefore, invite everyone who is not participating in the race to lend a hand. All those
interested in volunteering simply have to send an email to the previously mentioned address.
MacWilliams, who has been running for six or seven years, notes that if this “community happy event” turns out to be a success, she and Couture will make it an annual race. Each year, the proceeds would be donated to a local worthy cause, probably always related to children and youth.
So why integrate this run into the Acadian Festival schedule?
“We wanted to latch onto an event that already exists, that’s already popular and that already has a great ambiance to encourage greater participation,” noted the race directors. “We therefore encourage all participants to dress up in Acadian colors to show their cultural pride.”
The first-ever Acadian Festival Road Race will raise funds for a major upgrade to the Evangeline School playground. Seen preparing for the Sept. 2 event are, from left: Young volunteer Abigail MacWilliams; her mother, race co-director Jennifer MacWilliams; co-director Kathleen (Gallant) Couture, and her two young close friends, Chloe and Chaz Fraser.