As co-ordinator for the Canada Day Fifth Street Mile for the Comox Valley Road Runners, I was very disturbed by an article in the Have Your Say section of the July 11 edition of the Record.
The writer accused one of our volunteers of racial bias over an incident that they saw at the finish line. They claimed that the eighth-place finisher, a native North American, was denied water and had to rely on the “white” people around him to get him some.
I initially contacted the eighth-place finisher of our race, who told me he is not of aboriginal descent nor did he have any knowledge of the incident.
He said he did go for water later on after the race was over, but it was already gone as there was a limited supply. He had no issues with this or any part of the race.
I then contacted the two CVRR members who were looking after the food and water table. They also were unaware of any issues that morning.
Finally, we went to the video tape of the finish line to determine if there were any other possible participants that the writer may be referring to: This also gave us no further insights.
I am at a loss to explain the incident reported by this writer. The CVRR organizes this race on a yearly basis in concert with our Courtenay Canada Day Committee and our goal is to include everyone possible in a fun activity to celebrate Canada Day.
I can only conclude that the writer misinterpreted what they saw and formed some very biased conclusions. I trust that the above information will ease their concern of any possible racism at our national celebration.
We hope everyone had fun at our race this year and we are looking forward to having even more participants next year (yes, including families with strollers).