These inspirational runners were nominated by their fellow participants. They inspired, motivated and overcame obstacles. Here are the words of the people that nominated them and the generous sponsors associated to each award.
VIP Rockstar Mom
Sponsor: Comfort Inn
My mom – Bev – should receive an award because she spends her entire life celebrating others (especially us, her family) and she deserves the spotlight for once! She is the backbone of our family, and our greatest cheerleader. I run half and full marathons across the USA, and she tracks me via running apps every single race. She has not missed a single one. She will “follow” me mile by mile, and send encouraging text messages as I near the finish line. This past year, Mom recommitted to her health with a total diet overhaul that involved eating completely clean – and she has never looked or felt better. She has maintained her positive approach to life even whilst enduring the loss of her mother (my grandma, Mary) and sister (my Aunt Glenna) this past year.
Running is far outside of her comfort zone, yet she has trained for and completed a handful of 5KM races so that she can participate with her family: her first was the Terry Fox run in Central Park NYC in 2014, and since then she has run a few 5Ks with me in Florida, and with my sister and I in Ontario. Mom supports my sister and I in a way that makes me want to be a better woman every day – and she has been this way our entire lives (every since we were little HHS Hoyas!). She is the definition of inspiring, hard-working, committed, and strong. We love her and we are so proud of our Mom.
Can I nominate my mum Lorraine Walker for an award? Can my kids nominate her for inspiring them to be healthy and active. Both my kids Adi and Mina Khonmen are running the kids race this year. And they will be there to cheer on their healthy Grandma.
I think I’d like to nominate my mom for an award. She’s the lady (Lorraine) who continues to comment on your Facebook page when she’s done her training for the day. The only reason she comments is so that she’s accountable. She’s not interested in fan fair at all. She did the same thing last year and came second in her age category (71) by 9 seconds.
Ain’t Nothing Holding Me Back
Sponsor: Deerhurst Resort
My husband and I are doing the 5k run this year for the 3rd time. We are extra excited as my oldest daughter Chantelle will be joining us. It all began about 5 years ago when her grandfather was passing away from ALS (lou gehrigs disease). She decided that July to do a half marathon in October and raise money for ALS awareness. At first I was concerned as she had never been a runner up to this point. She did the half, and so her love of running began. She has done other half marathons and even a full.
She is truly an inspiration to me and that inspiration continues to motivate me when running and I hope someday soon before I turn 60 to do a half marathon……she calls me her biggest fan and that is a title I am proud to have.
I am sure her PA is cheering her on from heaven knowing he was the start of her running journey through life.
I’d like to nominate Briana Knowlton for the award – she has gathered a group of 20 girls to run together on her bachelorette weekend. I have known her for 15 years and she has ALWAYS been someone that people are drawn to because of her incredible friendly, warm, positive, spirited attitude and drive. She is a truly remarkable woman who I have no doubt has a positive impact on everyone she meets because she shines so bright – you’ll see on Saturday!
Cheryl has been running in Band on the Run since the very first year. The first year she ran the half marathon. My children were so impressed with her and the event that my son Ben wanted to try a road race. His first race was the kids tri in port Sydney which he loved but it wasn’t quite the same. He wanted to do band on the run just like Cheryl. In the second year with the rule changes Ben needed an adult to run with him so I started training and ran my first 5k race. That year all my sisters, my son nephew and I all participated.
A few years ago Cheryl had some medical issues that prevented her from running the half marathon but still wanting to participate she signed up for the 5k which she has continued to do. This year she signed up for the 10 k which she was going to run with my son, but again this year she has had medical issues and thought she would have to miss this years race. We were all saddened that she would be missing Band on the Run for the first time.
She just got the go ahead from her Dr and although she can’t run yet she will be doing the 5 km walk.
Our family loves this race and we keep coming back every year. This year I will be running the 10 km for the first time with both of my sons. Cheryl’s partner and her daughter will be running the 5 k
Cheryl inspires us all with her energy and determination and I am so happy that she is able to participate this year.
Heart of Gold
Sponsor: Davicor Construction
RUBY TALULAH BROWN
Ruby Talulah Brown has been running with me since she was in kindergarten – she’s 13 now. She is the best running partner a mom could ask for!
She out-races me now, beating me by over 2 minutes at a recent hilly race! She also carried our race kits on her back during the race, (the organizers were understaffed at race day kit pickup and we narrowly made it to the starting line before the race started). She literally pushed me up the last big hill with one hand as I was struggling, and carried race kit paraphernalia in her other hand (that fell out of the backpack during the race, due to our hasty shoving of race kit bags into the backpack).
She is small but mighty (weighing only 80lbs) and she is very worthy of this award – I’m so proud of her athleticism and endurance!
Teri Van Sickle-Brown
I would like to nominate Michael Peake for an award. I am so proud of him for his dedication and commitment to running. He has recently started running and has demonstrated such drive and enthusiasm to reaching this point aNd achieving a 10km distance run. He has proven to have reached this goal and has gained enough confidence to try this public setting and challenging run. I wish him all the best and would like him to feel that he has the support, encouragement and love from his family and friends. He is always encouraging and supportive to others and he deserves it in return. He is a stellar member of the community and fire fighter, risking his life for others, and an exemplary father.
BRUNO DI TOMASO
I would like to nominate Bruno Di Tomaso for an award (he is registered for a half marathon). This person inspires me by his work ethics, determination, commitment to running and the community, and by his will to help others (whether it is a new runner or a runner achieving a new milestone). He has been running consistently for over 10 years and has now run dozens of half marathons and 11 full marathons, including New York and Chicago. The last couple of years have been break through years as he continues to achieve new bests and works hard while trying to achieve his goal to qualify for Boston Marathon. Through his journey he has led a number of running clinics and helped out and inspired a number of new and seasoned runners. He now has a dream to form a running group for people struggling from addictions and to help them along their recovery. This person always has a smile on his face and no matter what he goes through in his life he is an example of positivity, strength and kindness. He helped me huge while dealing with a frustrating injury and continues to encourage me to keep going and stay positive. I know Boston is around the corner for him!
Sponsor: Centre Street Dental
Hudson is an inspiring young man who I have seen training rain or shine and in various towns from South River to Huntsville. I have had the privilege of watching this young man achieve his dreams. He constantly challenges himself to achieve a new personal best in a variety of distances and signs up for races both around the province and recently competed in races in Spain! When I feel the urge to give up, it’s Hudson’s determination that keeps me going!
I would like to nominate Hudson Booth. He is very inspirational by competing for Canada in the CP World Games, Ontario in Para Bowling, Running and Special Olympic cross country skiing. Hudson always has a smile on his face and never seems to be in a bad mood.
I would like to nominate my son, Hudson Booth. He has always and continues to be an inspiration to me and many others. When he was born we didn’t know if he was even going to survive let alone walk. He started walking just before he turned 2. Since then he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, but that has never slowed him down. His dream is to be a Paralympian. He trains 5 out of 7 days a week and has a true passion for running. Last summer he went to Spain to represent Canada at the CP World Games in the 100m, 200m and 400m races.
Everyone who knows Hudson knows how much he works for and loves running. He does other sports too, like bowling, basketball, soccer, golf, Nordic skiing and I’m sure there others I am not thinking of.
Note: Hudson came in 10th over all in the 5k with an incredible time of 22minutes!!
GAIL WILSON & DEBBIE HANNAH
I’d like to nominate both Debbie Hannah and Gail Wilson.
Deb for all her work in recovering from her health issues and not being able to hardly walk three years ago to running the 5km last year and walking the 5 this year. For never quitting!
Gail even though running isn’t her thing but still doing the 5 last year and this year in support of our friend Debbie.
CINDY HARRISON & TRISHA DREW & KAREN JENKINS
Cindy is my mom and my role model. She got me into running in the first place and constantly has motivated me to get out there and go for run and over the years, improve on my running skills and speed. Together we have trailed the world now doing runs, but Band on the run has stayed our favourite. We placed last year together, our only race we ever done so at the same time, and that, truly was one of the most proud moments of my life. I nominate my mom as my biggest inspiration.
Trisha Drew, my godmother and my mom’s best friend, is another person who has never ceased to amaze me with her spirit, her excitement, and her overall ‘funness’. She is one of the most caring, wonderful, and inspiring people I have the privilege to know.
Trish’s sister, Karen, is another huge inspiration for me. She shows up to every race with a new outfit, new cheer, and the absolute best playlist to get the run vibes started.
Together, we have formed the best girl run squad there ever was. Sure, I am biased. But I can truthfully tell you that I have never felt more motivated by any better people. They are my running rocks and I cannot wait to run alongside my squad again this weekend.
Can’t Keep Me on the Couch!
At the age of 44 he only just started running. He knew he enjoyed it quickly and not only did he start a local running club to help motivate others he also ran his first half marathon along with others who joined him in learning to run.
Dwayne was a volunteer firefighter and had to stop after he had his 2nd back surgery. Now here he is able to run and get back in shape. Watching him cross the finish line of his first half marathon and joining his learn to run club has motivated me to start running and living a more healthy lifestyle. We were living abroad for a couple of years and are happy to be back living in the Muskoka area again. The Band on the Run in Huntsville will be his first half marathon back in Canada and my first 10 km run.
Thank you Dwayne for motivating me and others in learning to run and getting outdoors more!
I would like to nominate Faith Critchlow for an award at this year’s Band on the Run. Faith has overcome many obstacles in her life to reach this point of participating in this run. From being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 10 to a life altering accident a few years ago that resulted in a brain bleed and severe concussion which left her with memory issues, she has fought to get here today. Faith meets every and any challenge life throws at her with as Gord Downey said it best ” armed with will and determination and grace too”. She is an amazing young woman and I am beyond proud to call her daughter. Please consider her for award ceremony this Saturday, it will her first Band on the Run and the second 5km for her since she began running.
Faith has worked so hard at getting her health in the best condition possible. She has had type 1 Diabetes since public school. During college, like many students, she put on weight and did not focus on a healthy diet or exercise program. However, this past year she has really worked to get her body in shape. She has lost weight, worked on strength, balance and endurance. She has inspired our family to eat less fat, less sugar and watch our calories. She leads by example! We are thrilled to witness her participate in Band On The Run. It is a milestone for her to run 5 km. Her diabetes is completely under control. To see her so healthy and happy is heart warming.
I am nominating Faith Critchlow for an award as a result of her endless dedication and motivation towards achieving and improving her physical stamina and athletic goals. I believe she deserves an award because no matter the weather, energy levels, or any other circumstances, she gives it her all to get out and run. She is always aiming to improve herself and her goals along her personal cardio journey, and is a very passionate young woman as well. I believe she deserves this award for all of these mentioned reasons and more, as she is hardworking and truly enthusiastic when it comes to running and habitually improving her physical stamina.
I believe Faith deserves an award because I’ve watched her push through and reach her goals, the amount of things that should have stopped her, didn’t. For that I believe she deserves this award.
JULIA PATTERSON HOGG
Julia has been running your event for years and this year was slated to run the half marathon, but suffered a nagging injury last year that she is only just now beginning to recover from. In fact, Julia was at the point where she was ready to pack in running altogether. She has now decided to run again, and is still going to run the 10K next weekend. A dedicated routine of yoga for the last few months and sneaking in some runs over the past few weeks, as well as a good amount of Julia determination, and she is just about ready to tackle the race. I know she will do it because that is the type of person that she is. It is such a tremendous feat for anyone to pick themselves up from an obstacle in life, dust off and carry on again doing something challenging but rewarding. In so many aspects of her life, more than I can mention here, she has shown this quality time and again. For Julia, I know, running is one of the great loves she is passionate about.
In addition to this, she is a single Mum (Mom) of two kids, which can be difficult for any parent at the best of times. Running has been a huge part of her life, successfully running many marathons and half marathons, including fundraising for charities for many of those. Julia never seeks any recognition and is one of the most kind and giving people I know. In every aspect of life she is an inspiration to her family and friends, and especially to many of those who are runners, myself included. In fact, without her support and encouragement I might not have become a runner or running my very first half marathon ever this year – Band On The Run! Julia has so many reasons for running, including the typical health and fitness ones, but also many personal. She is deserving of heaps of praise more than anyone will ever know. As she would say, always a little further.
Race Director Awards
Sponsor: Reboot with Real Foods
SULLY SPRATHOFF – AMBASSADOR AWARD
Six-year old Sully spent his weekends leading up to the event, with his mom Leigh Fettes, visiting each of the neighbourhoods that would be most impacted by the road closures on race day and letting them know what to expect. He is awesome!!
Aidan has been indispensable as a volunteer for the last two years. He not only volunteered until long into the night the Friday before the race and then started again at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning—running around, hauling heavy stuff—but then took 19.5 minutes (!!) to run and WIN the 5k before diving straight back into volunteering until he was literally the last one to leave.
MADELINE & SEBASTIAN HORTON
My children, Madeline and Sebastian, have grown up with this beautiful monster (BOTR) that consumes both of their parents on the second Saturday of every June for the last 8 years. As they have grown into young adults they have taken on more and more responsibility in running the event – and in our family this is a year-round project 🙂 Madeline is so amazingly thoughtful at finding ways to make everyone’s life run more smoothly. This year she took over the entire food preparation for our family for the week leading up to the event – from planning everything out in detail to captaining the grocery shopping. (And for anyone that knows me – you know this is a big deal 🙂 And then she would take the extra steps of always making sure the kitchen was cleaned up.
Sebastian’s birthday always falls somewhere within a week to ten days before Band on the Run. And every year Rob and I have this awful, inevitable oh s%*#@ moment where we turn to each other and say – gasp – Seb’s birthday. What are we doing for that?! And every year Seb takes it in stride with such good humour.
Both of them can always be counted on to step up big time throughout the year and getting up at 4:30 on race morning (typically after staying up way, way later than they should helping out the night before) and working non stop all day – with a few minutes break to crush it in the 5k. This super proud Mom couldn’t pull it off without them.