Town seeks Boston Marathon qualifier recognition in connection with ‘Run for Heroes’

By Karen Fallon

Boston Marathon qualifier Chris Uszynski’s request to have Amherstburg participate in the World Alzheimer’s Day “Run for Heroes” on September 25 was passed by council at the July 18 meeting.

Council also agreed to approve $2,500 for course certification by the Boston Athletic Association making it the only Boston Marathon Qualifier south of Toronto and $1,000 for an Amherstburg promotional tent at the Detroit Free Press Expo Marathon in October of 2011.

Part of the funds will come out of the tourism budget, while the remainder will be sought from the budgets of other departments.

The 20-year Amherstburg resident says his father, who has only gone into a care home during the past year, has had Alzheimers for 20 years. For 19 of these years his mother has been the primary caregiver for her husband.

The World Alzheimer’s Day Run (WADR) ultra marathon started in 2007 to raise money for caregiver support programs across the county through the Alzheimer Society of Windsor and Essex County. Over the years the run has grown in size and length.

“A caregiver for Alzheimers doesn’t have any time off, even when they are sleeping they think their loved ones are going to wander away, there is always that fear,” said Uszynski.

In the fifth year of the WADR the decision was made to locate the event at a central location and start  and finish it at a single point. The United Communities Credit Union Complex in Amherstburg has been identified as this site.

“This is the only town that will have a Boston qualifier run this side of Toronto,” noted Uszynski.

The fact that “Amherstburg is flat” is a bonus, says Uszynski, who joked that it is so flat he watched his dog run away for two days. There is only 31ft of elevation difference from highest to lowest points and 148ft of elevation change over 42K, he pointed out.

Added to that is the Amherstburg scenery which is deemed “one of the most beautiful and eclectic places to run.” The proposed course includes Big Creek, along the Detroit River, along County Road 20, Dalhousie Street and Fort Malden.

“Big Creek is known as one of the top six most significant wetlands in North America by Ducks Unlimited,” he added. “It is a beautiful vista going down Big Creek Road…it is an absolute phenomenal course.”

According to a report by Anne Rota, manager of tourism and culture, in the first year 500 to 1,000 participants are expected to participate in the run and that number is projected to increase in the coming years.

It is the intent that in 2012, the Marathon would also be a unique addition to the 1812 celebrations during the Roots to Boots festival bringing running tourists to Amherstburg, noted Rota.

Comments are closed.