ABOUT THE RUN
The Rainforest Trail Run, a five-kilometre fun run through the scenic trails of popular Central Park in Burnaby on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Coast Salish People, was conceived by the Vancouver Sun Run founders as a way to help stimulate physical activity among people in local indigenous communities.
All runners are encouraged to take part, but a special focus of the initial organizers, the Achilles International Track and Field Society, will be on training indigenous coaches and leaders to promote participation, either through running or walking, within their communities.
The run’s location offers a somewhat unique setting, blending the well-preserved temperate rainforest ecosystem of the 90-hectare park with vistas of Burnaby’s ever rising cityscape. The start/finish inside Swangard Stadium will also feature an accompanying public event that will celebrate the heritage of Canada’s indigenous culture.
“This event provides an opportunity for a greater understanding of our indigenous culture through the sharing of art and music in a festival-like atmosphere,” says Dr. Doug Clement, president of the Achilles Society.
“The general public will be exposed to thousands of years of rich evolution of our indigenous patterns, while at the same sharing in positive approaches to optimal lifestyles via exercise and nutrition.”
The inaugural 5K run on Sept. 29 will be held one year after the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame opened its new Indigenous Sport Gallery celebrating the many contributions to sport by First Nations athletes, teams, coaches and builders in B.C.
The ambitious long-term plan for the run is to add a 10-kilometre distance and to grow the event by attracting participants from indigenous cultures up and down the West Coast and, eventually, from around the world.
Letter from joe gallagher, chief executive officer first nations health authority
Dear Doug and Diane:
It is my pleasure to write this letter on behalf of the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) in support of the Rainforest Trail Run that will take place on September 29, 2019 in Central Park, Burnaby, on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish People and all the medicines within them.
The FNHA is a health and wellness partner to each and every First Nations person living in BC. We are committed to supporting sport, recreation, and physical activity and we value the impact this event could have in stimulating increased physical activity. We look forward to sharing the opportunity to participate in Rainforest Trail Run and the associated training clinics with First Nations people in BC.
As a health and wellness organization, we are excited by the opportunity to partner with you on this great initiative and to welcome the athletes, community members, and cultural performers that will attend.
Joe Gallagher Chief Executive Officer First Nations Health Authority
The Achilles International Track and Field Society (AITFS) is a non-profit society formed in 1964. The same group which founded the Vancouver Sun Run in 1985, which now attracts over 40,000 participants. AITFS organizes the Jerome Indoor Games at the Richmond Olympic Oval and the Harry Jerome International Track Classic at Swangard Stadium.