News - 31st January 2019

Keen Orleans – The Story So Far


Orleans parkrun started in September 2018 and has since had 15 parkrun events, despite a few cancellations due to poor weather conditions. The Orleans parkrun event is currently organized and coordinated by Christian Dussault, Manon Dussault and their two children. The Dussault family were first introduced to parkrun while posted in Australia three years ago. 



From left to right: Laura Dudas, recently elected Councillor for Innes Ward and Bob Monette, former Ottawa Councillor/Deputy Mayor for Orleans Ward, and the Dussault family


Despite its young existence, Orleans parkrun already has a core team of people and participants who are committed to bringing parkrun to the east-end community.


First, Orleans parkrun is privileged and grateful to have Ski Heritage East (i.e. a team of dedicated volunteers) who work with passion to groom the Ottawa River Pathway East Trail along the Ottawa river on which the Orleans parkrun course happens every Saturday morning. The Ski Heritage East dedicates it efforts to grooming the trail for winter sports: cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking / walking, running (exclusive to Orléans parkrun) and biking (fat bikes).


While Orleans parkrun has many regular participants, we are proud to introduce the Petrie Island Canoe Club team who have members that participate regularly to the Saturday morning Orleans parkrun event. The Canoe Club consists of a group of approximately 12 participants who also participate in other training activities including their water training activities during the summer and fall season. They also join us during the winter season to cross-train to maintain their physical condition and to ensure that they are ready to start strong by spring thaw.


Sarah Kennedy, Commodore, Petrie Island Canoe Club:

Petrie Island Canoe Club serves Ottawa’s East End, offering paddling programs for people of virtually every demographic.  Our competitive members, age 11 yrs and up, train all year round.  During the winter months, cross-training involves a wide variety of workouts, including three runs/week.  We had already begun our regular long run practices on Saturday mornings, when we got an invitation from our friends at the Wascana Canoe Club (Regina, Saskatchewan), inviting our club to train with them remotely through parkrun.  We’ve been participating in the Orléans parkrun ever since, and really enjoy the competition and camaraderie that parkrun offers.  We are grateful to Christian, Manon, and the other volunteers for their initiative and dedication.  Parkrun is a great way to bring the community together and get people active!”



Sarah Kennedy participating at Orleans parkrun


Benoit Davies from the Petrie Island Canoe Club, a regular at Orleans parkrun

Orleans parkrun is also very privileged to have a strong group of regular volunteers. The Orleans parkrun office wants to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU for all the volunteering contributions to-date; making the Orleans parkrun a continued success every Saturday! Without volunteers, this community event would not be at all possible. As such we wanted to introduce one of our regular volunteers, Raleigh Young.


Raleigh Young has participated in the Orleans parkrun events since the launch and has been a key volunteer every Saturday morning, weather permitting. Raleigh has volunteered 11 out of the 15 events that were held by Orleans parkrun, while participating in three of the events. Raleigh is a committed and dedicated individual, who helps without hesitation and always makes sure that he is on duty prior to the event start every Saturday morning. What is remarkable, is that Raleigh makes his participation at Orleans parkrun a personal priority to contribute to the Orleans community.




Raleigh Young – Volunteer:

“My running began over 40+ years ago, when I was 25 and I’ve enjoyed challenging myself at many distances up to and including the marathon.  I ran the first three Orleans parkrun events and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. During the cooler weather, I do my runs on a treadmill since I prefer not to deal with issues of dressing up to be comfortable especially before and after runs.  However, I spend a few hours outside every week either walking, occasionally snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.  I really liked the concept of parkrun and plan to volunteer as much as possible throughout the winter to support Christian and Manon for their valuable contribution of establishing and organizing Orleans parkrun.  It’s just a matter of dressing up appropriately for the conditions on the cooler days, to have a very enjoyable outing on Saturday morning. I look forward to joining the runners and walkers again on the beautiful course when the mild weather returns.  I hope lots of people take advantage of this wonderful event to get moving. Since retiring 10 years ago I’ve been attending the gym most days of the week. My running mileage is much reduced from years past with all my gym activities, however a weekly Orléans parkrun 5km nicely compliments well my other workouts. So glad to have parkrun as part of my weekly routine and spending time with some friendly folks who enjoy getting some outdoor activity.”



Rob Adriaanse, Raleigh Young and Jean Miner

Again, Orleans parkrun would like to thank all the volunteers and participants, who make the Orleans parkrun a continued success, as well as a fun and enjoyable one for the east-end community of Ottawa!


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