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Letter to the editor: Thanking our participants

Kakabeka Falls Legion would like to thank all the participants, spectators, volunteers, and sponsors for participating in our 4th annual Kakabeka Falls Legion Half Marathon and 8K.
To the editor: 

The Kakabeka Falls Legion would like to thank all the participants, spectators, volunteers, and sponsors for participating in our 4th annual Kakabeka Falls Legion Half Marathon and 8K on Sunday, Aug. 15.

Our race honoured the memory and the sacrifices of those 1,973 Officers and Men of the Royal Rifles of Canada and the Winnipeg Grenadiers along with two nurses who were assigned with them along with units from the UK, India and China to defend Hong Kong. On Dec. 8, 1941, the Japanese attacked. When the battle was over, 17 days later, there were 783 Canadian casualties including 290 killed In Action. A further 264 Canadians would die in Japanese-run POW camps. We paid special honour to Warrant Officer Class II John Robert Osborn was awarded the Victoria Cross, Canada’s highest military honour for his actions during this battle.

While I would like to thank all involved, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the first responders in attendance: the members of the Ontario Provincial Police, Superior E.M.S., and Oliver Paipoonge Fire and Emergency Services for helping us out on race day. However, I would like to reserve my biggest thank you to the Men and Women of the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment (LSSR), the Officers, Men and Women of the H.M.C.S. Griffon, the 18 Medical Company and the 2294 18 (Thunder Bay) Service Battalion Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, specifically the Cadets, their parents and the Officers, Civilian Instructors that attended. A special thank you to the Senate of the 18 Thunder Bay Service Battalion as well. The 2294 Cadet Corps, and parents, along with the members of the Senate, took charge of that portion of both courses that ran through the Provincial Park.

The LSSR sent one of their own to run the 8K course – and not overly surprising, Corporal Adam Isaacson of the LSSR was the first male finisher of the 8K. Next year we look forward to a member of the HMCS Griffon taking up this challenge as well. Who knows we may even see some challenges start amongst some first responders in the area.

Three course records were set this past weekend. Both the male and female course records for the Half Marathon were decimated by more than five minutes. Our course is fairly challenging – the Lucken Hills, which sometimes seems to be slightly mispronounced by some runners, are a tough three miles of rolling hills. The Canadian record is on a fairly flat to down hill course. Our first place Men’s finisher in the Half Marathon was Teferi Balcha.

Teferi clocked in at an amazing 1 hour 16 minutes and 25 seconds. The Canadian Men's Record for Half Marathon is (from 1999) is 1:01:28. The difference between the race ran by Teferi on OUR course and the Current Canadian Record for a half marathon is just 897 seconds.

On the woman’s side, our first place woman's finisher in the Half Marathon was Rebecca Bennitt. Rebecca repeated as the winner this year and finished the course with a time of 01:26:50. The Canadian Woman's Record for the Half Marathon is 1:09:38. The difference between the race ran by Rebecca and the Canadian record for a Half Marathon is just 1,032 seconds.

The Women’s 8 K winner was first time runner Shahrzad Borjian with a time of 34 minutes 01 second – she shaved just over a full minute off the previous record for the 8K.

Our race weekend in 2022 will be Aug. 20 and Aug. 21. We will be honouring the 80th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid – and are planning for a Full Marathon in addition to our Half Marathon.

Hope to see you there!

Jim Gilbert
Race Director
Kakabeka Falls Legion
Half Marathon and 8K

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