John Friday has run marathons all over the world, but one in his own backyard is the most unique.
He was one of the approximately 200 runners who escaped the elements and took to the track inside the Lakehead University Hangar on Sunday for the fifth annual Thunderwolves Indoor Marathon, which had a goal of raising $10,000 for the Children’s Centre Thunder Bay.
Friday, the event chair and veteran of 121 marathons, completed the entire 211 laps and said the intimate setting makes it a unique race.
“The crowd seems to gather more and more as you get closer to the end. Seeing so many people cheering everybody on is wonderful. It’s a wonderful event, and it’s a mostly local event,” said Friday, who missed the event’s media conference a couple of weeks prior because he was running in the Houston Marathon.
“This is nice because it’s all contained and the whole running community can come together in a fairly small venue. It’s very special.”
The event consisted of individual 10 kilometre, half marathon and full marathon distances, as well as a team marathon relay race that had 20 entries.
That variety of distances, as well as versatility of the relay, meant that people of all fitness levels could find an appropriate discipline.
“The nice thing about this event is that there is truly something for everyone,” Friday said.
“We have a very strong running community and to see some new faces is very gratifying.”
The event has a special purpose for Friday, who works as the director of management services at the Children’s Centre.
He knows the importance of physical activity, and enjoyed seeing youth participating.
“There’s such a known link between mental health and fitness so it’s nice to join the two together,” Friday said.
“It’s especially nice to see the younger children out. The kids’ race is probably the most fun race of all.”
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