Brainsport Times July 14, 2016
The big day is here! Today we are celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Brainsport! We look forward to seeing you all out at run club this evening, where the winner of the Brooks Rock Your Run contest will be announced!
It's going to a packed evening of celebration with a dinner at the Cosmopolitan Senior Citizens Centre following run club (limited amount of tickets still available for the dinner).
Today we are also taking time to remember Ric Hanna; one of Saskatoon's greatest runner's, and a man who fought Huntington's Disease with an unrelenting spirit.
Ric's legacy will certainly be everlasting; and his name will continue to be honoured each year at Brainsport with the Ric Hanna Award, which is awarded to one runner who exemplifies outstanding leadership. Past recipients of the award are: Dave Stark, Peter Goode, Jan Sterling, Theresa Reid-Shea, Brian Breit, Audrey Mowchenko, and Oliver Eaton.
In place of a Q&A this week, we have a tribute to Ric, with words from some of those who knew him. Amidst all the celebration today, we want to also celebrate Ric's life.
Celebrating Ric Hanna
Ric has always been a role model for me. Yes, we was one of Saskatchewan's best marathon runners (he was way faster than me!). But, I was more, equally impressed by his willingness to volunteer. I was always impressed with his willingness to lead a group at the Brainsport run club. Even as his disease progressed, he was eager to help out and lead. He will always be an inspiration to me.
In 1987, I captained a masters team in the Jasper-Banff Relay. I was to run Leg 16 and hand off to Ric for the last leg. We were running in 12th place out of 115 teams as I arrived at the exchange station. Apparently, I arrived a little sooner than Ric expected as he was still tying up his first shoe lace. I was screaming, “Ric! Ric! Get your bloody shoe on” while he was screaming at me, “Give me the baton! Give me the baton”. I relented and he took off for Banff with one shoe on! He finished with the sixth fastest time for the leg…one in which all teams put on their fastest runner. ..and we retained our 12th position. Undoubtedly, Ric has the all-time record for the fastest time in Leg 17 for a runner with one shoe on and one shoe off!
This anecdote is so typical of Ric, one of the most wonderful and determined human beings any of us have ever known.
Ric, wearing bib #28, as he floats along one of many races in his career.
I really didn't know Ric all that well and certainly not while he was one of Canada's top long distance runners. Even when I knew Ric, and the disease had slowed him, he was always somewhat out of my league in the running world. I can say though that I did observe that he was one of the most stubborn and determined and dedicated runners I have ever met. I have to imagine that those strengths carried over into his personal and professional life. His determination in the face of the awful disease was remarkable!
I met Ric in the mid-1990s when I was training for the Calgary marathon with Ian Colvine and Cheryl Brooke. I had seen him at races but really didn’t get to know him until I began going to a regular post-long run Saturday morning breakfast with Ian and Cheryl. The regular group that met every Saturday included Ric, as well as several other long-term runners. Over time, and a lot of Saturday morning breakfasts, I came to realize the respect everyone had for him. I also discovered that Ric was very humble about his achievements yet, was always willing to provide advice if you asked him. I know he certainly gave me some good advice!
In the late 1990s I was co-race director of the River Run, which at that time was a 20K event. Ric, being in his mid-50s, still destroyed most of the field. As I gave him his award it dawned on me just how good he really was. As his condition worsened in later years he would still come to Brainsport every Wednesday night – he never gave up.
Brian created the Ric Hanna award to recognize Ric and his importance to our running community. I was honoured to have been one of the recipients of the Ric Hanna Award and it's something I treasure. We need more people with Ric’s passion for running.
I first met Ric in the school setting many years ago . At that time I had no idea of the talent as a runner that he was. I later met Ric at Brainsport Wednesday run club . Many times he would lead or join with the walk/run group. He was struggling with his health at this time but still was determined to be part of the running community, with Susan his devoted wife by his side. Brian would explain to new runners, like myself, Rics' many achievements in the running world and what a leader and encourager and inspirer he had always been . It is an honour to be one of the many recipients of the Ric Hanna Award; an honour that I cherish deeply. Thank you Ric for inspiring so many runners to achieve more.
Ric cruising along - #28 . . .
Ric was a gentleman, but on a race course he was a tenacious competitor. He was a first-class road racer, while my forte was middle distance. So it was really hard for me to stick with him on the roads. I recall one cross country race in the early 1980s particularly well. He was killing me on the flats and I was finding it tough to hold onto him, so I quickly realized the only thing I could do to have a chance was to work him really hard on the hills. As a track racer I had to focus on hills to be competitive in cross country, while he could rely on his long distance stamina. Taking advantage of a hilly course was the only thing that got me past him that day. But he didn’t give me an inch, and made me work hard for it. And that was the way he was, in racing and in life. Tenacious, but always a gentleman.
I began running with Brainsport Running Club in December 1991, Ric Hanna was already a regular member and obvious leader. He was a fast and effortless looking runner. I can still remember the part of the Meewasin Trail just north of Archibald Arena - it was probably one of the SRRA River Runs - I found myself catching up to Ric and passing him. This just did not seem right and I thought he must be having a really bad day. Little did I know at that time that Ric was already starting to be affected by Huntington’s disease.
As time progressed so did the debilitating effects of Huntington’s. Despite this, Ric continued to be a regular at run club, often showing up by bike or taxi as he could no longer drive. Brian has often mentioned one of the hardest parts of run club is getting leaders to sign up for all of the groups. Ric’s name could usually be found on the white board to lead a group. Eventually Ric could not communicate with the runners in the group and had to stop leading but this did not deter him from coming out to run. I believe he was also running everyday, if not running he was riding his bike or swimming at Harry Bailey pool.
Ric’s smooth, graceful running style was replaced with a lopsided gait, yet for a long time he would bike around town. One day at Brainsport I took a phone call from a doctor at RUH Emergency department. A man had been found trying to push his bike and appeared in medical distress, he was brought to RUH by ambulance. The doctor was a runner and thought she recognized him, so hoped we might help identify him as he had no identification nor could he communicate with them. They were ready to treat him as a stroke victim. By the description I was able to identify Ric and tell them he had Huntington’s. It turned out he was extremely dehydrated. Ric ended up staying in hospital for a time and then was moved to Sherbrooke Community Centre. Thus ending his running and biking.
I think it was about this time that Brian came up with the idea of the Ric Hanna Award. The idea was to recognize club members who took the initiative to lead running groups and honour Ric; who was committed to lead by example despite progressive challenges.
Brainsport 25th Anniversary Celebration
Come celebrate Brainsport's 25th anniversary with a special edition of our Wednesday evening run club at 6 p.m. followed by supper at Cosmopolitan Senior Citizens Centre! Come for the last chance to enter our Rock Your Run contest presented by Brooks for your chance to win a trip to Las Vegas for the Rock n' Roll Marathon.
The draw for the contest will be held that evening on July 13 and you must be in attendance to win. Mark your calendars now so you can join us in the celebrations, we'll even have t-shirts available so you can remember this day with us! *There are now only a limited amount of tickets still available for the dinner.
Folkfest Torch Run
In celebration of this year's Olympic Games, the Greek Pavilion is putting together a torch run for opening day of Folkfest, on August 18. There will be an opening ceremony at the Greek Pavilion, followed by a torch run through all the pavilions involved in Folkfest 2016! The torch will be run all the way to City Hall, and the raising of the Folkfest Flag.
The Ultra Ethnography
Trail runners, here's an interesting opportunity! A graduate researcher out of Calgary, Ian MacNairn, is doing a study exploring the community of ultra-running. Our friend Ian Colvine brought this to our attention. The study has just moved into the online portion and would like your participation. To do so you will be guided through an online interview and questionnaire hosted through Survey Monkey. Ian (MacNairn) is hoping to have as many people as possible from the community participate and complete this online It takes approximately 1 hour to complete.
The link to the interview and questionnaire is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ultraethnographyemail. To learn more about Ian's project you can visit the website at: www.theultraculture.com.
If you are an ultrarunner, a retired ultrarunner, an aspiring ultrarunning, or participate by any other means in ultrarunning, e.g. as volunteer, race director, crew, pacer, fan, documentarian, etc. he would love to have you join!
Masters Sports Festival
Saskatoon's first Multi-sport Co-ed Masters Sports Festival is being held July 15 through 17! Events include a walk/run relay, team golf, soccer, and pickleball. For more information go to: http://masterssportsfestival.ca/
Crown the King Openwater Swim Race
Beaver Flat 50 - Ultra Trail Marathon
Saskatchewan's first ultra trail marathon will get underway on September 17 at Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park. With more than 2500 metres of vertical gain across 50 kilometres, there's nothing really flat about this race! The Beaver Flat 50 is a tough get-your-feet-wet, wreck-your-shins, and roll-your-ankle kind of run. For more information clickhere.
Brainsport Free Stroller Walking Club
Stay-at-home-parents, and caretakers we have a great opportunity for you to come out and meet some new people, enjoy the outdoors, and fit in some exercise. Our free Stroller Walking Club is underway on Tuesday at 10 a.m. (weather permitting). Everyone will meet at Brainsport before heading out!
SRRA Trail Race Series
Race #1 Saskatoon April 28 at 6:30 p.m.
Race #2 Cranberry Flats, July 17 at 9 a.m.
Race # 3 Blackstrap, September 18 at a.m.
For more information on all the races visit https://srratrailraces.wordpress.com/.
16th Annual Saskatchewan Credit Unions Queen City Marathon
The 16th Annual Saskatchewan Credit Unions Queen City Marathon takes place the weekend of September 10 & 11 in Regina. This event includes races for people of all paces. Runners and walkers are welcome in the 42.2K, 21.1K, 10K, Team Relay and 5K events. Kids, as young as three-years-old, are encouraged to participate in the Mini Marathon. For more information or to register please visit: http://runqcm.com.
Thanks for reading the Times this week . . gotta run . . .Tara