I’m writing in response to your invitation to present my “Dog Tag Story” and what the Army Run means to me.

I have participated in all the Army Runs since their inception in 2008, including the two virtual races (2020 and 2021). My husband, Ben, and I had signed up for the 2020 Army Run but, like every race in the world, it was cancelled due to the pandemic; however, we couldn’t let the race pass us by and not take part, even virtually.

The story of my Army Run medal goes back to that virtual Army Run 2020. Although there was no starting gun, military fatigues, entertainment and cheering sections along the course, I attacked the 2020 race with the same zeal and, yes, a little anxiety as usual. Although Ben chose not to run the 2020 event, he still participated-he was on the course with me, following me on his bike, providing water and food while timing my official time and distance; I had signed up for the “Victory Challenge,” the 15 km event. As I neared the end of my course on the trail along the Rideau Canal, he rode ahead of me on his bike. As I crossed the imaginary finish line in front of the Laurier Avenue Armoury, he passed my father’s WWII-era dog tags around my neck, as a soldier would have done at the official event, had it taken place. This date was even more moving, as I ran on the birthday of my sister, who died in 1992. It was thanks to her that I started running in support of diabetes research, as I too am diabetic. I say a little prayer to her every time I run and ask for her support along the way.

The military has played an important role in my life. My husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncles and cousins have served in all branches of the armed forces (Canadian and American). By participating in the Army Run, I honor not only my family, but all the soldiers who have served our countries, in times of conflict or peace, to ensure a safe environment for us all. And I run for all those who can’t. I’m looking forward to Army Run 2023!

Thank you very much!
A proud American-Canadian runner