No Category selected iRun the 9 Run Run to say “thank you”

    iRun the 9 Run Run to say “thank you”


    The following is a guest post by Mark White.

    Hello iRunNation.  My name is Mark White and I am a runner participating in the 9-Run-Run half marathon this year.  I have a very personal connection with the 9-Run-Run event this year.  I get to say “thank you” to the people I don’t remember but whose impact on my life cannot be overstated.

    Let me begin where my memory starts; waking up in a bed with my Mother sitting in a chair beside me, my brothers and Dad talking together next to the bed.  It was a strange place, but my family was there, I was very tired, and I fell asleep again.  Unknown to me was that they had been there for the last 8 days.  I was in the Civic Hospital Trauma Ward.  My parents and brothers flew into Ottawa because they heard my name on the radio.  “On July 19, 2009, 5 cyclists in Kanata were hospitalized after a hit-and-run with an unknown vehicle on March road.”

    Fast forward to September 2010, I sat in a courtroom listening to testimonies from many of the First Responders who were at the scene of the collision.  Their accounts were graphic, shocking, and clearly had a residual impact on them.  I wanted to say “thank you very much, thank you for all you did and for helping my friends and I survive, when the one responsible drove away and left us there.”  I thought of the 9-Run-Run event and vowed to enter it in 2011 and run to honour the men and women who responded to our scene.  To my dismay, the trial dates overlapped the 9-Run-Run event in 2011.  It was not appropriate for me to have any contact with them at that time.

    Not deterred, I aimed for bigger in 2012.  I didn’t know how to identify the First Responders who were called, nor how to liaison with the Fire, Police and Paramedics.  So, I emailed the Chief of Police and stated my goal and reasons.  I wanted to meet the men and women who aided my friends and I when we were severely injured. I wish to simply say “thank you”, shake their hands and show them I have healed enough to run in an event that honours their service, courage, and professionalism.

    October 20th is approaching and the hard work of many is coming to fruition.

    On Saturday, Oct. 20th, in Stittsville, I get to meet the First Responders (Police, Fire and Paramedic) who came to our aid and are a significant reason why I can continue to run and cycle in this great city.

    Many contributors are required to save a life from a devastating injury.  Of the orchestra of aid workers; Police, Fire and Paramedics are there first to begin the symphony of healing.  To them we say “Play on!” to the percussion of our feet.


    If you, or someone you know, is Running for a Reason, please send your story to and we might feature it right here on this blog!



    1. Yeah. I remember you Mark. And I remember that day. I was one of the first firefighters on the scene that morning.

      Quite honestly, I’m tired of hearing about the Kanata 5.

    2. It is fantastic to see how far you have come Mark over the last 3 years. I was one of the first firefighters on scene and remember the details vividly. None of them good. Amazing resolve the 5 of you have shown to overcome such brutal and challenging injuries. We in the Ottawa Fire Service are grateful to have played a small part in the early stages of your recovery

    3. Hi Mark,

      I have been following the media releases with great interest and as John Snuggs said, “We in the Ottawa Fire Service are grateful to have played a small part in the early stages of your recovery”. Most of the
      similar incidents we attend leave us wondering, did they survive? To what extent did they recover? During the call we put emotions aside, after the call many of us feel a void. It was great news to hear you had all survived, each step in your individual rehabilitaion is received
      with joy. I am making arrangements to attend and celebrate your recovery. The Kanata 5 story of survival and perseverence is another confirmation that it is a priveledge to be part of the Emergency Services Response Team.


    4. I am not ‘tired of hearing about the Kanata 5.’ On the contrary, your story is truly remarkable and highly commendable. For the Kanata 5 – Your strength, will, determination and perseverance is truly admirable and an inspiration to us all. See you on the 20th !


    5. Mark, Cathy, Robert, Hilary and Rob.

      If my initial comments sounded cold, callous, harsh and uncaring, to you 5, and only you 5, I apologize.
      That was never how I meant them to be read.
      The day of your accident wasn’t the worst day of my 20 year career, but it made a deep mark no less. I’ve spent the last 3 years doing my best to forget that morning. The 5 of you wouldn’t care to hear the details, and I don’t really care to share them.
      When I said that “I was tired of hearing about the Kanata 5”, I was simply expressing my own personal frustration. Frustration with my inability to do more to help all of you, and also frustration with my inability to forget the 5 of you over the last 3 yrs.

      I wish you all the best

    6. Hi Mark,

      I am so relieved and thankful that you are well and able to do this upcoming event. it wil be an honour to attend and cheer you on for this! I was one of the responding officers on that morning, and I can only say that it was a miracle that all of you survived. I am inspired not only by your strength, but also by your desire to turn the most horrific of events into such a positive gift for all of the first responders out there! Thank-you for doing this, and long live the Kanata 5!


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