By: Raissa Tetanish
That’s the word former Port Hawkesbury resident Jody Mattie used to describe the overall feedback of a virtual run he organized through the Truro Run Tribe.
There were 1,356 runners and 236 walkers registered for the My Home Course 5K virtual event, which saw participants complete a 5K course from their home sometime between May 8 and 10. Through the registration fee and donations, $71,000 was raised in support of families of the victims in last month’s mass shooting in central Nova Scotia.
“The running community was really happy to feel connected with one another and be given the opportunity to use something we love to help out the victims of such a great tragedy,” said Mattie, days after the event finished.
All 10 provinces and two territories in Canada were represented by participants, as well as 19 states. Participants also joined in from Mexico, Cayman Islands, Scotland, U.K., France, Germany, Kenya, Singapore, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
“Nova Scotians abroad who felt so helpless over these events were happy to have a way to pitch in from away,” he said.
Participants have shared touching stories with the run tribe, including a man from Quebec. The man, whose note Mattie shared to the Truro Run Tribe’s page on Facebook, said he was deeply touched by the mass shooting.
“When I saw your effort to support somewhat, somehow the surviving ones I immediately signed on,” wrote the man.
Having lost his father when he was young, the Quebecer says he knows how difficult and lasting these events can affect people.
“I just can’t thank you enough to encourage the running community to provide some relief,” he said, adding COVID-19 can take a back seat for a while.
“Running alone on the shore of the Saint Lawrence River is sometimes boring, but this time it had a greater purpose.”
Mattie said he, and the run tribe’s executive members, enjoyed watching the numbers grow daily.
“It was very exciting to watch as runners from all over the world were embracing this idea,” he said.
“What started as a simple little idea turned into something much bigger and more meaningful. We know that these families are going to require tremendous ongoing support, hopefully the My Home Course 5K was able to kick-start that in a positive way.”