Brainsport Times

Weekly updates on running news in and around Saskatoon and Saskatchewan.
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Brainsport Times Dec. 23, 2015

Merry Christmas everyone! This is our last edition of the Times before Christmas Day, so you all get an early greeting. 

This week we're speaking with Oliver Eaton, the 2015 recipient of the Ric Hanna Leadership Award. This award is inspired by a man who made a tremendously positive impact on the Saskatoon running community.

Ric was an outstanding runner, who organized numerous running events throughout the years. He was also a long-time member of the Brainsport Run Club, who was always willing to step up to lead a group.

In a display of his commitment, determination, and love of running, Ric managed to make it out to Run Club while battling through Huntington's Disease.


Ric, number 28, in his glory days of racing.

By 2007, the neurological disease had taken its toll, and Ric could no longer lead any of Run Club's groups. However, he didn't allow the disease to deter him from the club. He continued to come out in support his fellow runners, and was a great inspiration to all. 

There couldn't be a more fitting person to receive the Ric Hanna Leadership Award, than Oliver Eaton. In this week's Q&A we get to know more about Oliver, and what inspires him to run. 

Oliver Eaton:

Tara: Congratulations on receiving the Ric Hanna Leadership Award! What are your thoughts on being this year's recipient?

Oliver: It means a lot to me. I was a little surprised. It makes me want to keep doing what I do. 

Tara: You know Ric from Run Club, what stands out to you when you think of him?

Oliver: I think of how he was a very strong runner when he was young. And then Huntington's took over, but he stayed dedicated and didn't let Huntington's get in the way. I think of his commitment. He was very committed and would never give up.

Tara: When did you first come to Run Club? And what what inspired you to keep coming back? 
Oliver: In September of 1999. My sister mentioned a bit about it before. My dad used to run to so that inspired me. Getting to know the groups and see where I'm at running (brings me back). And I want to keep active, and keep my weight down.

Tara: One of Brian's biggest challenges at Run Club is getting people to lead the groups, yet you consistently volunteer. What makes you want to lead?

Oliver: I have fun doing it. I like setting the pace. People seem to follow me as a leader. It's pretty fun to set the pace. And nobody else wants to do it. My guess is people are afraid of doing something wrong, as in setting the wrong pace, or pushing too much.



Tara: You have Asperger's Syndrome, but you don't let that hold you back. What gives you the courage to take a leadership role?

Oliver: Just the fact that I have the opportunity. Who says you have to be a specific type to run.

Tara: Tell us about yourself as a runner, and why it means so much to you.

Oliver: I break the stereotype when I run by not having the body type of a runner. I like to be able to say I'm a runner. I do it to be fit, and for the social part; meeting other fellow runners. I've done two half marathons, one full, and two sprint distance triathlons. 

Tara: Now it's time to hear from Brian, about what makes Oliver a great fit for the award. 

Brian:He has such a good attitude, regardless of his background: That's what's so inspiring to me. And, that's what Ric was like.

Oliver is always willing to lead. As much as I love Run Club, and all the people that come, finding leaders is my biggest challenge. I actually have nightmares that it's 6:20 p.m. and nobody is leading. Then I look at my watch and think we should have been gone 20 minutes ago!

For almost 25 year's we've been meeting everyWednesday. It's my job to get up to 150 people in the right group with a leader, go through announcements, help newcomers figure out which pace group they should be in, and answer any other questions coming at me. And, I have 10 minutes to do that. It's a relief to have someone as committed as Oliver, to count on to always step up when there's a need.

Tara: Oliver, how does it make you feel to hear Brian speak about you in this way?

Oliver: It makes me feel proud. If there's a group that needs a leader, I'll do what it takes.

Upcoming Events:

New Years Eve No Frills Chili Run
Ring in the new year at the 4th Annual New Years Eve No Frills Chili Run! Registration is available at Brainsport. Cost: $15 Location: Brainsport.
Yoga For Runners
Breath Move Be has new classes starting in 2016. Classes will be held Wednesdays, from Jan 20 to March 9  from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. $112 preregistered byJan 10. $18/class drop in if there is room. Space is limited, so best to register early. Contact Leanne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 306-251-2964

Before signing off this week, we want to relay a message from Ric's wife, Susan Hanna: She is encouraging people to drop by and visit with Ric, and bring photos if possible, he'd love to see them. He's on the third floor at Sherbrooke. Afternoons are best.Thanks for reading the Times this week . . .gotta run . . . Tara


 

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Brainsport Times Dec. 30, 2015
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