Thirty-three runners celebrate Family Day by taking part in the first annual “Royal Purple Elks Frosty Family Fun Run”

Tom Henihan
Express Staff

McLennan Family Day had a new feature on its program this year, one that added real momentum to both the beginning of the day’s activities and to the concept of families doing things together.

Coordinated by Constable Michelle Phillips who is a coach and organizer of the Smoky River Runner club, the first annual “Royal Purple Elks Frosty Family Fun Run,” brought out thirty-three participants of all ages to run or walk the 2.5K cross-country course or to do two laps of the course to complete the 5K challenge.

In spite of the added endurance test of minus-21 wind chill, 25 participants completed the 2.5K course and seven participants did the circuit twice, completing the 5K run.

Three of the 5K runners, Wyatt Hunting, Jasmie Dumont and Dani Paterson are under the age of nine.

Dirk Katerburg and his four-year-old son Kairo travelled from Edmonton to take part in the run, with Kairo and his dad sharing seventh place in the 2.5K.

In a spirit of friendly competition, McLennan’s new physician, Doctor Pierre Colete pitted against the local RCMP members to see who would win the 2.5K run, was definitely the competition to watch.

“With Dr. Cloete hailing from South Africa, the RCMP members thought they might have an advantage battling it out in the cold weather,” says Cst. Michelle Phillips. “Dr. Cloete ran like the cops were chasing him though, and came out ahead of the first finishing RCMP member, Cst. Guy Girard by just over one minute.”

Following the 2.5K run, Constable Girard, ran another lap to complete the 5K run while mentoring the Smoky River Runner club kids in the process.

Representing the local Emergency Medical Services, Cindy Cloutier ran the 2.5K wearing her paramedic’s uniform. First responders RCMP Cpl. Anita Doktor, Cst. Allan Paterson, Cst. Nick Fournier and Cst. Michelle Phillips joined Cst. Girard and Cindy Cloutier in participating in the event

When all participants had finished their run, completion certificates were given to the runners and a number of prizes were presented.

The Giroux family from McLennan had the largest number of family members representing the spirit of the Frosty Family Fun Run, having all five members of the family participating in the event: Parents Carolyn and Leo, and children Brooke, Callie and Morgan, with three-year-old Morgan being the youngest participant in the 2.5K.

“Smoky River Runners would like everyone to share in welcoming Dr. Cloete to the community,” says Michelle Phillips. “He has specialized training in sports medicine and an interest in fitness and nutrition. What a great healthy lifestyle partner to have in our community.”

Dani Paterson & Jasmine Dumont, 5K finishers.
Amerie Whitehead completed the 2.5K run.
Wyatt Hunting, 5K run finisher.


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