Canada D’Eh Run

Amherstburg celebrates Canada’s 151st birthday


By Jonathan Martin


A sea of red and white swarmed Amherstburg’s downtown core last Sunday to take part in the town’s annual Canada Day festivities.

The celebration was split between Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada and the Treats N’ Eats festival at Austin “Toddy” Jones Park.

The day kicked off with more than 2,000 runners streaming through the streets in the Canada D’Eh five kilometre run and concluded with a shoreline packed with onlookers enjoying the annual fireworks display.

In an address to festivalgoers at the start of the day, Amherstburg mayor Aldo DiCarlo thanked some of those responsible for putting on the massive festival.

Fireworks explode over the Detroit River as thousands watch from the shoreline during Canada Day celebrations
Sunday night in Amherstburg.

“First, I’d like to recognize the members of council here today,” he said.  “I’d like to thank all the town employees who worked quietly behind the scenes to ensure the day goes off without a hitch.  Primarily, but not entirely, these are the people in the tourism department, the parks department and, this year, to keep things cool, even the fire department joined in to spray down the runners this morning.  This event wouldn’t even get started without their dedication.

“Second, I’d like to thank the staff of Fort Malden for providing us with the most beautiful backdrop in the region.

“Third, I’d like to thank Chris and Debbie Uszynski and their team at RunningFlat for kicking off the day’s festivities.  Year after year they spend the day before setting up and then spend most of Canada Day tearing down.  We are very fortunate that they have kept this event in Amherstburg, as I can’t imagine Canada Day without the Canada D’Eh Run.

“Of course, we also have to thank the day’s volunteers.  It takes a great many people to put on this event and many of them are doing it for nothing.  At least, nothing but knowing they are doing their community a great service, which is the biggest reason we are so grateful.”

DiCarlo went on to name a long list of people involved in the day’s events by name, lauded the spirit of the town and expressed his best wishes for Amherstburg’s visitors before handing the mic over to Essex Member of Parliament Tracey Ramsey.

Ramsey took a different note in her address.

Stefan Coutu of Windsor plays Quidditch with his grandmother, Beth Dubeault.

She began by recounting her attendance at a citizenship ceremony earlier in the day.

“I stood proudly beside them and took that oath,” she said.  “Take a chance today as a family or by yourself to say that oath, to reaffirm your oath to Canada and the commitment that we have to our beautiful country.”

Ramsey went on to ask her listeners to “show (their) patriotism” through their purchasing power.  Canada returned fire last week in the so-called trade war the United States began by slapping duties on Canadian goods such as aluminum and steel.  Ottawa announced financial aid packages for affected Canadian industries and put its own tariffs in place amounting to $16.6 billion.

Rebecca Mickle sings as part of the Canada Day celebrations held at Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada.

The dispute has brought out increasingly nationalist tones in Canada’s politicians, as well as declarations of solidarity with Canadian industry.  On the same day Ramsey spoke at Fort Malden, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Leamington.

Southwestern Ontario is an area that will be particularly affected by the ongoing trade dispute, since its industries use and manufacture items that are being heavily taxed.

Ramsey said the Canada Day celebrations mark an opportunity for Canadians to make a change.

“Over this next year, I challenge us all to support one another and buy Canadian,” she said.



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.







Gord Downie Medal to be presented to Canada D’Eh Run participants



Special to the RTT


The largest run in Canada ON Canada Day has just been given even greater patriotic status.

Running Flat announced today that Gordon Downie will be featured on the medal to honor Downie as the “Great Canadian.”

The Canada D’Eh Run is the largest and most bombastic patriotic Canada Day Run in Canada.

It’s also the only run that has its participants choose what Canadian will get the honor of being on this medal – known as one of the great medals of running in Canada.

The Canada D’Eh runners and walkers from last year chose from Don Cherry, David Suzuki and Gordon Downie.

“Downie is such an amazing choice for our race and for society right now – he truly represented deep Canadian values and he was a strong advocate for the environment and Aboriginal issues,” says Uszynski.   “And this race has become known around the world.”

Uszynski said “this is the only open source medal in the running world giving the runners all the choice on who to honour and allowing anyone to sign up and register virtually. Up until June 1, 2018 someone from anywhere in the world can register and get their ‘Great Canadian Medal,’ Canada D’Eh Run shirt, and bib so you can run July.”

Uszynski says there are groups of people from Germany, Singapore, U.S. and around Canada who have registered every year.

On July 1, there will be an estimated 3,000 participants set to Run or Walk 5K in an all red and white celebration.

Prior ‘Great Canadians’ featured on the medal were Sir John A. MacDonald in 2013, Terry Fox in 2014, Commander Chris Hadfield in 2015, Wayne Gretzky in 2016 and the Mirror Medal (you are the reason Canada is so great) 150 Medal last year.

The patriotic 5K run and Kid’s Dash starts at 9 a.m. just outside of Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada – the headquarters for the British forces in southwestern Upper Canada during the War of 1812 – and continues up Laird Ave., around Toddy Jones Park, down Dalhousie St. and back.

Runners will also receive a Canadian full color sublimated tech maple leaf shirt, with the original Moose art of Madison Young so they can proudly wear their shirt long after they finish the race.

Money raised by participants is going to fund the great work of the Canadian Cancer Society, a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer.

RunningFlat produces high value endurance events in Canada and the United State since 2007 including such brands as I RAN THE D, Hockeytown 5K, Le Chocolat, Pelee Island Winery Half Marathon and Canada D’Eh Run.

Visit for more information about RunningFlat and podcasts of past shows as well as registration and pricing.


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.”

Canada D'eh Run-11WEB
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. “

Canada D'eh Run-13

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.

Canada D'eh Run-17

“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