Run­ning for Randy

Plenty of par­tic­i­pants turn out for third an­nual Randy’s Run

The Compass - - Front page - BY CHRIS LEWIS [email protected]­n­com­pass.ca

Many of Randy Ralph’s fam­ily mem­bers, in­clud­ing his son An­drew, took part in the an­nual Randy’s Run event, held June 16 in mem­ory of the for­mer teacher and wrestling coach who in­spired many.

Plenty of run­ners – and dogs – re­cently took part in a fivek­ilo­me­tre run in Car­bon­ear.

Satur­day morn­ing, June 16, marked the third an­nual Randy’s Run, which saw plenty of ath­letes and sup­port­ers take part in the five-kilo­me­tre trek.

For the past three years, Randy’s Run has taken place in Car­bon­ear in hon­our of Randy Ralph, a teacher and coach at Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate who died in an ac­ci­dent on the Tran­sCanada High­way in April of 2016.

Fam­ily mem­bers, friends, col­leagues, past stu­dents, and any­one else who knew Ralph in any ca­pac­ity made ap­pear­ances at Satur­day morn­ing’s event, which saw par­tic­i­pants run a five-kilo­me­tre loop, start­ing and end­ing at Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate, where they later gath­ered for a hearty break­fast.

Ralph, who was 52 at the time of his death, was the prin­ci­pal at the New­found­land and Labrador Youth Cen­tre in Whit­bourne, though many of Satur­day’s run­ners held spe­cial mem­o­ries of Ralph from his days as a coach and teacher where he played an ac­tive role in the youth sports com­mu­ni­ties in the area. He was known for en­cour­ag­ing stu­dent ath­letes to com­pete to the best of their abil­i­ties.

Com­pet­i­tive spirit

2016 marked the first year for Randy’s Run, how­ever, 2017’s run was the first time par­tic­i­pants were timed. This change came as a means of hon­our­ing Ralph’s com­pet­i­tive spirit, with event or­ga­niz­ers stat­ing that Ralph him­self would have loved to see the ex­tra level of chal­lenge added to the event.

Much like the pre­vi­ous two years, Ralph’s wife Frankie, as well as chil­dren An­drew and Vic­to­ria, also par­tic­i­pated in the run. Vic­to­ria was the first fe­male to cross the fin­ish line this year.

“He was al­ways there for the youth,” said Frankie. “He loved his job, and he’d al­ways say teach­ing was the best job ever.

“He coached a lot of sports and was in­volved in so many af­ter school ac­tiv­i­ties, and he didn’t just coach them, he worked with them,” she con­tin­ued. “Ran with them, played soc­cer with them — he was just very in­volved, and I think that’s a big rea­son why he’s left such an im­pact on all these peo­ple.”

Sec­ond home

Randy’s Run be­ing held at Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate on an an­nual ba­sis seemed like a no­brainer to event or­ga­niz­ers. Frankie de­scribed the school as a sec­ond home for Ralph and his fam­ily, not­ing the im­mense ad­mi­ra­tion he had for the Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate por­tion of his teach­ing ca­reer.

Frankie ex­plained to The Com­pass that Ralph played a key role in the or­ga­ni­za­tion of a num­ber of tour­na­ments and sim­i­lar events through­out his ca­reer. She said it was heart­warm­ing to see so many peo­ple ea­ger to host and take part in an event in her hus­band’s name, es­pe­cially now that the event has suc­cess­fully run for three years in a row.

This year’s run also saw a few new faces, with more young run­ners tak­ing part in this year’s event.

While most par­tic­i­pants in the event knew Ralph well enough to know how much he would ap­pre­ci­ate such an event, his pres­ence was felt event stronger by his wife. She spoke briefly about the ‘dimes from heaven’ she had been find­ing over the last cou­ple of years. It is be­lieved by some that, af­ter the death of a loved one, you will find dimes and other small coins that act as a mes­sage of en­cour­age­ment from de­ceased fam­ily mem­bers.

“I know Randy was here with us to­day. I write to him ev­ery day, and I said to him this morn­ing – ‘show me a sign,’” Frankie ex­plained through tear-filled eyes. “I find these dimes all the time, and this morn­ing when we were walk­ing, we found a dime in the mid­dle of the road. When I looked at it, I knew what it was. Randy was here with us this morn­ing, and he was let­ting us know.”

CHRIS LEWIS/THE COM­PASS

CHRIS LEWIS PHO­TOS/THE COM­PASS

Plenty of par­tic­i­pants showed up Satur­day morn­ing, June 16 to take part in the third an­nual Randy’s Run.

Plenty of dogs came out Satur­day morn­ing, June 16 as well for some early ex­er­cise with their own­ers.

Brett Shute was the first run­ner to cross the fin­ish line at this year’s Randy’s Run.

Even some younger ath­letes, such as Owen Pike, par­tic­i­pated in Randy’s Run this year.

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