THUNDER BAY -- A local nursing home worker spent his Friday morning dressed in a Batman costume, promoting the value of running, and anticipating his fourth appearance in the upcoming Ten Mile Road Race.
An unusual twist to a familiar event; the race is Canada’s third-oldest with the 85th edition of the most well-known event on Thunder Bay's running calendar ready for the starting gun a little more than a week away.
Local running enthusiast Chris Hoard attended as Batman, in the hopes of portraying himself as a superhero to the youth.
“Our younger generation is so focused on computers and iPhones, they don’t realize how important it is to get out and run,” he said.
His story is not unlike a superhero. Hoard lost nearly 100 pounds in four years after immersing himself and his family in Thunder Bay’s running community.
He’s looking forward to the Victoria Day race in which himself and an estimated 600 runners will come out to run.
As race director Meghan Shanks says, the race extends beyond the community of Thunder Bay.
Twenty runners from Sandy Lake First Nation will lace up once again, with all of the proceeds from this year’s race helping with the travel costs.
“It’s a huge financial barrier for them,” Shanks said.
The fly-in First Nation is located 600 kilometers from Thunder Bay, but their athletes have become regulars in recent years.
“We felt they weren’t getting the coverage and support they deserved,” Shanks said. “The amount of dedication in terms of training and fundraising needs to be promoted.”
As far as registration numbers, Shanks is expecting a higher turnout than last year, with the current tally sitting at roughly 520 individuals, and 30 relay teams..
Registration closes on Monday at midnight.