More than 2,000 participants participate in Canada D’Eh Run

 

By Jonathan Martin

 

More than 2,000 runners braved the blistering heat this past Sunday to compete in the nation’s largest five kilometre Canada Day (or Canada D’Eh) run.

The heat soared to 43 degrees with humidex, which earned a warning from Environment Canada and the declaration of an “extreme heat event.”

Runners were sprayed down by Amherstburg firefighters as they passed and 1,700 free bottles of water were available, according to race director Chris Uszynski.

Over 2,000 people participated in the Canada D’Eh 5K run/walk. Runners return to the finish line down Laird Ave.

The Canada D’Eh Run/Walk was broken up into four divisions: the kids’ 500 metre race, the kids’ one kilometre race, the five kilometre walk and the five kilometre run.  Each participant who finished their respective race earned themselves a finishers’ medal depicting an influential Canadian chosen by participant vote.  This year, the medal featured the Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie.

Uszynski said he conceived of the race as a Canadian response to the American Independence Day run. His company, RunningFlat, also organizes runs across the border and in multiple cities throughout Canada.

“When I first came up with the idea, it was sort of like the fourth of July without the blue,” he said.  “It was supposed to be red and white and all patriotic, because as Canadians, we’re really (bad) at that.”

As a show of his Canuck patriotism, Uszynski also organized what he says Costco Wholesale Corporation described as “the largest and most patriotic purchase of the day in Canada,” by providing 4,000 maple leaf cookies and 1,700 butter tarts to Canada D’Eh runners.

The Canada D’Eh kids dash makes its way through Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada.

Uszynski said both Amherstburg residents and municipal employees also showed their love of the country.  Several town councilors and Mayor Aldo DiCarlo himself handed out the runners’ medals and Uszynski thanked residents who live by Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada, where the race kicked off and ended, for being so accepting of the noise level.

“We started blasting music pretty early on a holiday,” Uszynski joked.  The town’s bylaw governing noise levels was lifted for the day.

In all, Uszynski said the day was “a great success,” though he added that he wishes Amherstburg had more hotels.

“Hotels! Hotels! Hotels!” he chanted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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