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2010 Army Run a success on many levels.

On September 19th the early morning calm in the heart of the nation's capital was rent asunder by a deafening Howitzer blast. For those unwary hotel guests staying at the Lord Elgin hotel across the road from where the blast was unleashed, they would have received a second shock as they sprang to their windows. On the streets below some 14,000 runners stretched out in tightly packed ranks as far as the eye could see. Yes, it was just 8:00 a.m., and the third annual Army Run had kicked off in fine style.

Leading the pack of runners was a lengthy column of ex-military bikers who blazed the trail for the wounded warriors participating in this year's event. Following the startling cannon shot, the mass start for the 5 km event began. The weather could not have been more cooperative as the sunny and cool conditions were near perfect for the runners that Sunday morning.

Among those setting the pace were Chief of the Land Staff Lieutenant-General Peter Devlin, Defence Minister Peter MacKay and the ever plucky Laurie Hawn, Parliamentary Secretary for National Defence. Publisher Scott Taylor and his wife, Katherinc, carried the flag for the Esprit de Corps team, both cutting off some time from their previous Army Run results.

Since its inception in 2008, this event has grown exponentially. The original race boasted 5,000 participants and last year 9,000 registered. The staggering total of 14,000 attendees this September meant the organizers were able to raise over $60,000 towards Canadian Forces Personnel Support programs (CFPSA), including Soldier On and the Military Families Fund. Busloads of soldiers were brought in from CFB Petawawa to participate with their families and, in addition, service members from all over Canada were in attendance. Those out for a fun outing and those simply wishing to support the army chose the shorter 5 km event, while the more serious competitors in the crowd opted for the more grueling 21 km half marathon.

For the entire weekend, the Canadian Army was able to showcase itself to the public through demonstrations and vehicle displays during the Saturday registration, and through a magnificent display of collective esprit de corps during the actual runs. Such a success bodes well for many more future Army Runs.

photos by James Park
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Author:Durnbrooke, Newell
Publication:Esprit de Corps
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Oct 1, 2010
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