It was 10 years ago that the 9runrun began as a half-marathon – an event to support emergency services personnel in our area, while promoting community health and fitness. In 2010, a charity was created to support the ‘Do It for Darren’ awareness campaign on teen suicide and youth suffering from mental health issues. That same year, the Royal Ottawa invited Brenda Tirrell, Race Director of 9runrun, volunteer firefighter and Stittsville resident, to speak about the benefits of running and the positive impact it has on mental and physical health. Back then, Brenda had an idea, “when I was speaking at the Royal about running and mental health, and with Do It For Daron on everyone’s mind, it just seemed natural that this (9runrun) would be a great cause for runners to support,” she said.
Since then, 9runrun has evolved to include the 2k family fun run, a 10k run, along with the half-marathon events. This year, Stittsville residents, race volunteers and organizers will welcome almost 2,000 participants to our community on Saturday, October 19th. The race has raised over $100,000 for Ottawa youth programs and has supported many mental health programs.
This 10th year of the run is no exception. Ottawa First Responders Foundation (OFRF) will be the recipient of the funds raised from the race being held this upcoming weekend. The goal is to raise $25,000 and Brenda tells us that “we are close to that”.
The OFRF was 10 years in the making under the auspices of Brenda and was finally launched on July 31st of this year right here in Stittsville. Brenda was named as the inaugural President of the Foundation. So it is only appropriate after all of the hard work to bring the charity to fruition that the OFRF be the recipient of this fundraiser. OFRF brings the first responder family together to deal with mental health challenges by addressing the issue with further resources, the Foundation will entail the provision of much needed peer support, better informed clinical support and education for young new recruits.
Brenda told Stittsville Central that local residents can support the Run and the Foundation. “Brown’s YIG, Giant Tiger and Home Hardware are all asking for donations at each cash for the new charity – we are hoping to get those figures into the total on Saturday. Residents can donate at these supporting Stittsville businesses or at the event on Saturday in the Village Square Park“.
“9runrun strives to be the best fall running event, that supports first responders and mental health. Looking forward to another 10 years. We can’t make all this happen with out the amazing community support from local businesses – Stittsville Business Association, Warmstone Dentistry, Jo-Jo’s Pizza and real estate agent Carol Traversy,” added a thrilled Brenda.
There will be a “Recovery Zone” in the Village Square Park for those post runs where participants can get a massage, ART, chiropractic, or bust out some yoga moves after the race. All of the post-run experiences are guided by knowledgeable local practitioners.
Brenda was eager to add that “the Chiefs will once again be taking their place for the Chili Cook Off. We are inviting the emergency service chiefs to put away their caps and put on a chefs hat, let’s see what happens — police have yet to win — maybe this year is their year!!”.
“We have had many volunteers and over the years the working crew has remained solid. Heather Hamann is the second in command for the race” said Brenda appreciatively. And, she went on to say, “nothing at this run happens without the amazing volunteers!“.
Take the time to visit www.ottawafrf.ca to learn more about the Ottawa First Responders Foundation. For further information about the Race Day including donating, registration, race routes, road closures and parking information visit www.9runrun.ca.
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