The 1,500 strong ‘Sisters’ are led by the Girls Gone Gazelle group. This group of young girls has been training and practising for the last six weeks to take part in the race, which celebrates all women, all shapes, sizes and ages.
Published in: Weekly News
Written by: Joanne Oostveen
“Nothing would stop us,” said runner Cindra Muzzerall, who travelled from her home in Barss Corner, Lunenburg County to participate in the first ever 5-kilometre road race designed only for women. “The thunder and rain will all be forgotten as we run and celebrate what it means to be healthy women.”
It was almost easy to forget these women were in an athletic event. It looked and sounded like one big party.
From the workshops on nutrition, ovarian cancer screening and running bras held before the race at Hampton Inn and Suites Hotel to the fitness class and live rock band playing, it was all about celebrating the strength of female runners and the lifelong friendships developed on and off the running roads.
The race began with a blast from a fire truck siren and then the purple wave of runners wound their way through a route that was lined with spectators.
Even the men were not left out.
The water stops were “manned” by volunteers cheering and hugs and chocolates were given out at designated stops along the route.
Finish line medals were handed out by HRM’s finest firefighters.
“As a runner and a co-race director I could not be more happy,” said Michelle Kempton, who together with her business partner Stacy Chesnutt has spent the past year working on organizing the race. “The fact this was not a timed race gave everyone the message loud and clear. We are all soul sisters. We are lucky to be active as there are many women who aren’t healthy who would love to be in our sneakers. And the person who won the race was the person who had the most fun.”
Kempton and Chesnutt decided to honour women who continue to serve and make a difference in the community. She said she also wanted the young girls of the Girls Gone Gazelle run club to see these women and realize they can achieve whatever they want in life.
Halifax Regional Police Superintendent Colleen Kelly was one of the women honoured at the Sole Sisters Race. And she also donned her purple shirt and ran in the race.
She said she had participated in road races before, but nothing like Sole Sisters.
“The experience was electric,” she said. “When it’s raining and you’re cold and soggy, and then you take a moment to look around and see a flowing ribbon of purple, in front and behind you, it makes you quickly forget about the weather. The women were troopers. The volunteers were amazing. And the spectators were fantastic.”
Kelly said it was overwhelming to see 1,500 women celebrating together, side by side, cheering each other on.