“If you agree, raise your hand and make some noise.”
Those words are still ringing through the hallowed halls of the Holiday Inn South on Pembina Highway, spoken by the highly respected local runner Michael Bennett, who was introducing one of three Manitoba Runners’ Hall of Fame Inductees, David Fielder.
It was the annual Manitoba Runners’ Association‘s Banquet, attended by close to 90 people.
David Fielder, John Murphy and Dwayne Sandall were all inducted into the Manitoba Runners’ Hall of Fame. Ami Samel and Don Bevington accepted the female and male running athletes of the year respectively.
The lifetime achievements of these people are truly amazing.
John Murphy, who also qualified and completed the Boston Marathon, has run over 23 full marathons, not including numerous other smaller races.
David Fielder has run so many races that only the picture below can best describe the hundreds of races he has completed over the years.
Dwayne Sandall has completed a huge number of ultra-marathon and trail races, and has been steadily organizing and developing the burgeoning area of trail running here in Manitoba.
The countless hours that these individuals have spent as race directors and volunteers helping runners and promoting races, was also mentioned, and their efforts have helped the running community in Manitoba increase in popularity over the years.
The night’s emcee was none other than Winnipeg’s most famous barefoot runner, and Canada’s Barefoot Running President, Bob Nicol.
When David Fielder’s acceptance speech included the following, “Bob reminds us that, no matter how bad we have it, we can afford shoes,” laughter burst out from the crowd.
Mike Bennett honored his good friend David Fielder by donning a light blue tutu while he gave his introduction.
Everyone who attended this special event contributed to the atmosphere of living life to the fullest, with good cheer, and gave the audience a small example of what they do outside of the banquet by spreading the sunshine around!
For more information on joining a great group of people, visit the Manitoba Runners’ Association website at http://www.mraweb.ca/
For more information about Trail Running, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/manitobatrailrunners/.
All photos by Gregory McNeill