(Lincoln, May 25, 2015) Despite a cold wind and a drizzly day, well over two hundred runners participated in the YFC Runway Run at the Fredericton International Airport Saturday, and in the process raised more than $20,000 for the Canadian Mental Health Association of New Brunswick.
The five kilometer race was a joint initiative of the Fredericton International Airport Authority and the Capital City Road Runners. FIAA Communications Officer Kate O’Rourke says “we are thankful for the incredible support this event received from our tenants here at the airport as well as the many FIAA staff who volunteered their time and effort to make this event happen. Our community has shown us such great support over the years, and we’re pleased to have this opportunity to give back by giving runners access to our runways, and through raising funds for CMHA of NB.”
Accompanying the race was an expo and static aircraft display. The Canadian Owners and Pilot’s Association Flight #2 volunteered to coordinate the aircraft and vehicle displays on the tarmac in cooperation with FIAA staff.
O’Rourke emphasizes that this kind of support from the community was key to the success of the event and adds, “it was wonderful to see so many children and their families brave the chilly day to watch the race and check out the various displays from helicopters to emergency response vehicles.”
Daren Verner in a time of 21:44 was the first across the finish line, while fellow Frederictonian Sheryl Johnstone was the quickest female. She ran the distance in 24:16.
Christa Baldwin, Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association of New Brunswick says her organization will put the $20,000 raised to good use. “It will help us offer quality programs and support services across the province.” Baldwin says while they obviously appreciate the donation, equally important is that the event provided an opportunity to educate people about mental health and keep this important discussion going. “The more we talk about mental health, the more we decrease the stigma associated with it, and this initiative of the airport and the Capital City Road Runners gave us that opportunity”.
Corena Walby of the Capital City Road Runners says the club was pleased to be a partner in this event. “We all know someone who is affected by mental health issues, and so realize how crucial it is to raise the money CMHA needs to continue offering their mental health services and public education programs.