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.







Canada D’Eh Run kicks off July 1 celebrations



By Jolene Perron


“This is where history began, and this is where this run deserves to be.”

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Chris Uszynski started the Canada D’Eh run in Amherstburg five years ago, working with RunningFlat and has grown the event to become to largest Canada Day race, on Canada Day, in all of Canada. His work with running flat has named him the race director luminary award of the year from Athletics Canada.

“We have people as far as Vancouver here, all to kick off Canada Day with the beautiful Fort behind us. It’s really an iconic race,” said Uszynski. “I love the town of Amherstburg, I’ve been here for 26 years, I’m not a lifer, I’m a transplant but I’ve always loved this community. I think there’s so much to offer. It’s a wonderful community. I’ve raised two kids here, I wouldn’t do it anywhere else. “

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Amherstburg mayor Aldo DiCarlo said he’s incredibly grateful to Uszynski for bringing this event to Amherstburg and keeping it in the town year after year.

“Running Flat put on an amazing show here,” said DiCarlo.
When questioned about why he doesn’t run in the race, DiCarlo’s answer was comical.
“I got close this year, I really did,” he joked. “As I always say, my favorite joke, only time I run is when someone is chasing me so if you see me running you’d better start running too.”


Top male finishers of the 5km race included:

Ryan Allison, age 36 from Belle River – 17:14
Owen Martin, age 15 from Harrow – 17:53
Ivo Oljacic, age 51 from Windsor – 18:09

Top female finishers of the 5km race included:

Tori Bouck, age 16 from London – 18:51
Blaire Kniaziew Gervais, age 40 from Windsor – 19:48
Alyssa McKinkley, age 26 from Windsor – 21:13


“We do this run every year, since before our son was born and he’s participated in the kids’ dash every year and it’s just a fun family exciting thing to do on Canada Day,” said second place female finishers, Kniaziew Gervais. “He looks forward to it every year. ‘Are we doing the Canada Day run mummy?’ We will continue to family tradition. It’s the only one around and Chris does an amazing job with the race and it’s very family friendly”

For just a 23-minute race with her 10-year-old nephew, Patricia Kriz came all the way from London just to participate in the run first thing in the morning, before heading back home for her own town celebrations.

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“It’s Canada Day, I’m a proud Canadian,” said Kriz. “This is a great race, a great event, my nephew is from Lakeshore so it’s a great opportunity for us to run together.”

For more information on other RunningFlat races, visit runningflat.com.

Roughly 1,500 participate in Canada D’Eh run/walk


Runners leave from the starting area during the 5K run/walk last Friday morning.

Runners leave from the starting area during the 5K run/walk last Friday morning.


By Ron Giofu


The streets of Amherstburg were busy Friday morning with running being the main form of transportation.

The annual Canada D’Eh run/walk, presented by Running Flat, got Canada Day festivities kicked off in Amherstburg. About 1,200 took place in the main 5K run/walk with the children that took part in the “kids dash” and a 1K race bringing the overall total to 1,500.

Race director Chris Uszynski said there were “virtual runs” as well, with runners in other countries taking part complete with shirt and Canada D’Eh run medal. He used a group of runners in Germany as an example, as they signed up and ran there but still got their shirt and medal.

This year’s “Great Canadian” featured on the medal was Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky.

“It’s Canada Day. It’s really an incredible time and a great event,” said Uszynski. “People love starting the day doing this.”
Uszynski stated that participants not only came from the Windsor-Essex County area, but from all over North America to take part. He said they were able to enjoy their day in Amherstburg after the run/walk.

A family that participated in the 1K portion of the Canada D'Eh run/walk approach the finish line in patriotic fashion.

A family that participated in the 1K portion of the Canada D’Eh run/walk approach the finish line in patriotic fashion.

Rain early Friday morning slowed down the set up of the event but the weather cleared by the race’s start.

Running Flat teams with Libro Credit Union on the run/walk, with Uszynski stating participants picked up their race kits the day before at the credit union thus helping to streamline things Friday morning. By having participants picking up their race kits Thursday, it brought more traffic to town, he added.

The race is the largest Canada Day run/walk in the nation, Uszynski added, though noted other races will have larger urban centres from which to draw from particularly when the race is held on a Saturday next year.

“I’m willing to take on that challenge,” said Uszynski.

For more information on races put on by Running Flat, visit their website..