June 16, 2019 3:10 pm

Northern Manitoba students lace up for marathon, inspire others along the way

A group of young students from first nations communities in northern Manitoba were among the racers in the 10km event, and they hoped to serve as an inspiration for people back home.

Michael Draven / Global News
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Runners from across the country laced up their runners to take part in the 2019 Manitoba Marathon Sunday morning.

A group of young students from First Nations communities in northern Manitoba was among the runners in the 10-km event, and they hoped to serve as an inspiration for people back home.

READ MORE: 5 tips and techniques in the lead-up to the Manitoba Marathon

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The group of students from Poplar River and Cross Lake had been training for this day for a long time, with plenty of hours of hard work and dedication leading up to the big event Sunday morning.

“When we used to train at Cross Lake, we would go every Friday and just run 10k around the track,” said 13-year-old Liddell Blacksmith from Cross Lake.

But the challenge went just beyond running the race, these athletes even inspired some of their parents to join in on the run as well.

“It’s my first marathon with my boys,” said Liddell’s father, Jack. “I’m happy to experience that and hopefully we have many more to come.

In the meantime, others had bigger goals for the next time around.

“It was an amazing experience,” Bello Blacksmith of Cross Lake said. “This was my third year running this.”

“Hopefully next year I get to run the half marathon.”

READ MORE: Manitoba Marathon kicked off Sunday morning

The North West Company, a large retail company that serves rural communities and urban neighbourhoods, provided funding for the crew through the company’s Healthy Horizons Foundation.

“We’re super proud of these kids. We hope that they can realize that they can achieve anything if they work hard and set their minds to it.” North West Company’s Derek Reimer said. “I hope that this is a memory that they can carry with them for many years and hopefully inspire other kids in their community.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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