The Telegram (St. John's)
Randy’s Run returns after year-long hiatus
Pamela Edwards likes to think Randy’s Run is much more than a road running event.
To her, it is equal parts tribute to her friend, Randy Ralph, a well-known former teacher in the region who died in 2016, as well as a chance to advocate and raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.
Ralph died in a distracted driving accident on the Trans-canada Highway near St. John’s.
Perhaps even more importantly than that, the event is a reunion of sorts.
Each year, the run brings Ralph’s family, friends, colleagues, past students and other acquaintances back to Carbonear Collegiate to take part in the five-kilometre race.
The 80-100 people who usually run the race often return to reminisce and share their memories.
Edwards, who is one of the organizers, calls it an event with a family feel to it.
“We celebrate who he was,” Edwards told Saltwire Network last week. “It always has the same feeling. (Randy) clearly made an impact.”
This will be the fifth running of Randy’s Run, after organizers were forced to miss last year due to the COVID19 pandemic.
They still handed out the scholarship, but there was no running of the race.
As the regulations around the pandemic have slowly started to scale back and vaccinations have increased, organizers felt it was the right time to get things going again.
Gone is the group breakfast that annually takes place after the race, but the running loop will return.
The race is scheduled for Saturday morning in Carbonear.
“It is extremely important to have the race again,” said Edwards.
Ralph’s daughter, Victoria, plans to be in Carbonear Saturday morning to honour her father. She and her mother, Frankie, made the drive Friday from Corner Brook, where they live.
She said her family appreciates the work being done by race organizers and the support shown to them by the community.
“Every year there have been more and more participants, showing that his message of being involved in your community and helping each other, it’s something he’s always promoted, and it’s kind of stayed around with this run,” said Victoria. “(Randy) coached a lot of sports, including running, and I think the race is something he would have been very proud of.”
While she hasn’t lived in Carbonear for several years, the town still holds a special place for Victoria as the place where her father influenced so many people.
“I loved growing up in Carbonear,” she said. “There are lots of memories there.”
As a coach and teacher in Carbonear, Ralph had a profound effect on the teachers, parents and students he interacted with, either coaching or in the classroom.
Edwards sees the annual attendance as proof of that impact.
“His spirit lives in all of the people that come out,” said Edwards.