• Briana Tomkinson

Saddlebrook to host third Annual Bryan Liew Race on Sunday


PHOTO COURTESY BRYAN LIEW FOUNDATION

This Sunday, September 11, runners from Saint-Lazare and beyond will gather at Westwood Junior High School to have fun, raise funds for community sports, and remember magnetic former coach Bryan Liew.

Liew coached the Saint-Lazare Running and Athletics Club as well as the athletics club for Westwood Junior until his sudden death from a heart attack in 2013. He was only 42.

“The whole running community was in shock when he died,” said race co-organizer and running club member Patrick Lepage. “[Liew] was an athlete himself. Just a few weeks before he died he ran a 5K in 19 minutes, which at 42 years old was exceptional.”

Among the competitive runners Liew mentored was Claudia Wagner, who ran four to five times a week with him in the year before his death.

“When he died it was such a sudden loss. I trained with him that Thursday night before he passed away,” said Wagner. “We had to do something to keep his name going, because he deserved to have his name known.”

Lepage and Wagner, along with Liew’s widow Elizabeth Harder, created the Bryan Liew Race and an affiliated foundation to promote amateur sport and raise money for a new synthetic running track - something Liew always said was needed for the region. The Foundation has raised $14,245 so far for the new track.

Three years after the first race, the event is still going strong.

“The first year, we had 120 runners,” said Lepage. “Last year we had 200. We’re hoping for even more this year.”

As in previous years, MNA for Vaudreuil-Soulanges Lucie Charlebois and Saint-Lazare Mayor Robert Grimaudo will be among those running.

Participants in the event can choose to run either a five-kilometre or 10-kilometre course through the leafy streets of Saddlebrook, and there is also a one-kilometre race for children under the age of 12.

The 5K course begins with a loop of the track, followed by a loop along Hunt, Bordelais, Yearling,

Equestrian, Calumet, and Stagecoach before finishing along the other half of the track. The 10K runners will complete the loop twice. Volunteers will be present to direct traffic and ensure the safety of the runners.

Registration for the race is open online until Friday, September 9 at 5 p.m. at https://bryanliewrace.wufoo.com/forms/course-bryan-liew/ and participants can also register on site from 8 to 8:30 a.m. on the day of the race. Participation fees are $10 for kids, $20 under 18 and $30 for adults. All proceeds benefit the Bryan Liew Foundation for Athletics.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. at the Bryan Liew Track (Westwood Park, 2800 rue du Bordelais) with the 5K race, followed by the 10K at 9:15 a.m. The 1K children’s race will begin at 10:30 a.m. Prizes and medals will be awarded for the top finishers.

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