NEW GLASGOW – May means MORE in Pictou County.
The Marathon of Respect and Equality will take place Thursday, May 5, in Pictou County and organizers are hoping for another strong turnout from both runners and non-runners.
Runners are expected to gather at the Nova Scotia Tourist Bureau at the Pictou Rotary at 8 a.m. for the first rally in Pictou at 8:30 a.m. Rallies in other towns will take place at 9:50 in Westville, 10:30 in Stellarton, 11:30 in New Glasgow, 12:50 p.m. in Pictou Landing, 1:30 in Trenton and it ends around 4:30 p.m. at North Nova Education Centre in Parkdale.
“We want the communities and schools to come together and do something for the event,” said organizer Peter White. “We know the schools will be there and we emailed a lot of businesses and organizations hoping they would come out and support the run.”
A couple of thousand people turned out last year to support about 30 core runners who took part in the marathon from Pictou to New Glasgow. The day-long marathon that makes stops in Town of Pictou, New Glasgow, Stellarton, Trenton, Pictou Landing and Westville was first started more than 20 years ago by well-known resident Henderson Paris.
Paris retired last year from organizing the event, which grew in numbers each year, and turned the reins over to Peter and Diane White who helped form the MORE Committee.
“While Hennie’s Run had no doubt made a huge difference, everyone recognized that racial intolerance and the marginalization of people for a variety of discriminatory reasons were still present. The fight Hennie had fought so well was not fully won, nor perhaps could it ever be, and his Run’s ending would leave a real void,” said White. “We are confident the people of Pictou County will do what they can to support this effort and continue to work toward Hennie’s goal of a completely tolerant and respectful community.”
Paris has been named the co-chair of this year’s event along with Andrea Paul, an educator at Pictou Landing school and the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board’s First Nations representative.
“The choice to go with co-chairs this year was in keeping with the more 2011 theme “learning to live together as friends,” said White. “We want people who have been to the run in the past to bring a friend with them this year.”
White said the route will be same as last year with rallies planned in each of the towns and Pictou Landing where students and communities members are invited to cheer on the runners and listen to some brief comments from MORE organizers.
He said runners are also invited to join the run at any of the stops and finish where they are comfortable. It is a non-competitive event that promotes respect and equality for whoever is in any way marginalized or disrespected in society.