YFC Runway Run and family expo a huge success

Clear skies and a warm day greeted runners at the second YFC Runway Run on May 28, 2016, and with more than $34,000 raised by the event for the Canadian Mental Health Association of New Brunswick, organizers hope there will also be some more bright days ahead for those experiencing mental illness.

Taking off for mental health

The five kilometer race was a joint initiative of the Fredericton International Airport Authority (FIAA) and the Capital City Road Runners.

FIAA Communications Officer and YFC Runway Run organizer Kate O’Rourke says, “We look forward to this event all year – welcoming our community to the airport, giving them access to areas that are normally restricted, and having some fun while raising money to support mental health – it’s an incredible day.”

The FIAA cannot thank our co-Race Directors, Corena Walby and Jos Eijkelestam, enough for their work on this event year-round! Special thanks go to Laura Peasey and Kevin Richards for their work in coordinating race kit pickup and the course setup.

Family fun

Hundreds of families came out to the expo and static aircraft display accompanying the race. The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association Flight #2 volunteered to coordinate the aircraft and vehicle displays on the tarmac in cooperation with FIAA staff, and we are very grateful to them, and to each of the pilots who brought their aircraft out (and let people sit in them!).


1st place male: Ryan O’Shea, with a fantastic finish time of 17:38.

1st place female: Sheryl Johnstone, improving on her winning time from last year with a speedy 22:57.

2nd place male: Peter Duguid with a time of 20:40

2nd place female: Kelly Barker with a time of 23:45


WestJet flight for two: Monica Keats-Gilbert

Helicopter ride (donated by Earl Brewer): Karen Cummings

Helicopter ride (donated by Lee Coulter): Delberta Flood

Perseverance award: Shelley McLean


You are not alone

Alice Keats speaks at the 2016 YFC Runway Run

Alice Keats, mother of Thomas Keats, spoke at the expo. Thomas passed away from depression at the age of 14, and his family and friends have rallied together to form the Thomas Keats Organization to support mental health. Together, the team raised over $15,000 for the YFC Runway Run!

Alice had an important message for anyone experiencing depression or self-harm: “Know that the way you feel today is not the way you will always feel. It will get better, and there are people who love you. Please talk to someone – your parents, a counselor, and tell them what you’re experiencing.”

Please reach out to your family doctor or contact the closest CMHA of NB Community Health Clinic for help if you or someone you know is experiencing depression or any other mental health concerns. If you are in crisis, please call 911 or visit your local emergency room.


For more photos of the 2016 YFC Runway Run, visit the event Facebook page. While you’re there, like the page and follow them on Twitter to make sure you hear first about any announcements for next year’s run!

YFC Runway Run logo


Thank you to our 2016 YFC Runway Run sponsors