photo by N. Didlick

photo by N. Didlick

Totem to Totem 2018 is in the books. Results posted and 100 pics from the run are available to view and download. Special thanks to Nick Didlick for several of the beautiful pictures.

It was pretty much a perfect race day. Temperatures were cool; the skies were clear. Race Director David Seymour says, the first step in doing a race is to make it to the start line. This year we had a total of 170 people come out to walk or run the 10 km, half-marathon and full marathon – and everyone who showed up at the start line finished their event upright, healthy and, generally speaking, with a smile. Congratulations to everyone.

Our marathon is a Boston qualifier and this year we had another runner, Rebecca Black, who came third in the women’s event, qualify for Boston. Here in Canada we have thing about 4th place. We have often thought that there should be 4 places on the podium. This year’s 4th place woman in the marathon, Chandra Johnson, more than exemplified the honour and pride of being out there and doing it and working it through. Her mother ran the half-marathon and her father ran the 10 Km. But Chandra Johnson, of Port Angeles came to run her first marathon on Haida Gwaii. Her story is remarkable and she has shared it with us. We have posted a link to a video. We hope you will find a few moments to view it. Chandra has said she plans to be back to T2T next year. We look forward to seeing her.

The only record which fell this year was the number of participants in the 10 Km event. In his pre-race remarks, David Seymour, Race Director, noted that back in 2011 a total of 19 people ran the 10 km. This year a record 140 people registered for the 10 km Run to the Rock; 128 showed up on race day and ran or walked and generally had a good time finishing the 10 Km. It was impressive to see the number of young people participating – and the older ones too. Included in the 128 runners were 23 runners from Kitkatla. Ursula Jackson, Youth Co-ordinator at Kitkatla, organized the training for the group, who call themselves RIOT – Running is Our Therapy. T2T was their first 10 km. Ursula Jackson shared her feelings about getting out and completing the run.

There was also a contingent of runners from Sandspit who participated in the half-marathon taking first in the women’s half marathon and second and third in the men’s event. We hope that more people will be challenged and inspired to train to run the half-marathon and full marathon.

In addition to the runners from Kitkatla, this year’s 10K had runners from Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick Germany and Japan and several cities in BC. But, of course, it is the local support which truly makes this event year after year. Five of the top 10 finishers in the men’s event and.nine of the top 15 women were from Haida Gwaii. The other notable statistic, not just for the 10 Km, but for all the events, is that the women outnumber the men almost 2 to 1.

The T2T organizers are impressed with the number of number of local participants who support T2T by coming out and also with the people who make the trip and come back to Haida Gwaii to run T2T. We are happy to see you and hope you will be able to return.

The number of runners crossing the finish line was a bit overwhelming at times for our finish line crew, but they got them all. We are so appreciative of the day the finish line crew puts in including our wonderful cheerleader. They are there for all the runners from start to finish. Thanks, as always, to Robert Davidson for the medal that each runner proudly takes away. Thanks to the bike crew who rode the course giving support to the runners, particularly the marathoners. Thanks to the volunteers at St. Mary’s Spring and the ladies at Jungle Beach and out at Miller Creek, where a pair of goats came to check out what was happening. Who knows, maybe they’ll be back again next year! And the volunteers at Balance Rock they are amazing. That first hour of your day is part of what makes T2T a race to run. The runners appreciate you all – and we, the organizers, say Howa’a to all the volunteers, sponsors and participants.