Hawkesbury Runners meet the Prime Minister

Here is a first-person account of one family’s experience at the recent Canada Army Run in Ottawa.

Early on the morning of September 17, at 4 a.m. to be precise, six Hawkesbury residents embarked on a whirlwind adventure that would have them see and meet some of Canada’s most prominent business and political leaders. They were invited to meet with these VIPs because Max Sockett had already participated in a long running event for charity and the remainder were to take part in the five-kilometre Army Run that day.

Max Sockett (8), Alex (4) and Max (7) Kovac along with their respective parents; Signe Kovac and myself, Stephen Sockett along with Max’s sister, Helena Sockett, left for Ottawa on a fog-veiled drive. We arrived in Ottawa just in time to meet with John Stanton, the CEO and Owner of the Running Room, The Mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson, Canada’s Minister of Defense, Mr. Harjit Singh Sajjan, then Acting Governor General David Johnson, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MP Francis Drouin and a number of others. However, the highlight was a brief conversation, photo op and handshakes with none other than our extremely tall, fast and charming Prime Minister, Mr. Justin Trudeau.

The Prime Minister spoke with us and asked us about running and their love of it. In case you weren’t aware, our Prime Minister is an avid runner and maintains a high degree of good health. He commended the boys for staying active and for contributing to their charities by raising funds while running. Max Sockett had raised over $700 for the CHEO in May at the Ottawa Race Weekend. Max ran 10 kilometres!

After the meet-and-greet, the boys went on to run their respective five-kilometre running events along with over 13,000 other participants. On the way they had the chance to meet other notable members of Parliament. The weather made the run a real challenge as temperatures reached over 29°C! It was hot. The race was well organized with lots of hydration along the way.

Asked what their favorite part of the day was, each of the boys and Helena said it was meeting all the soldiers who serve our nation. They were very proud to meet the men and women that give of themselves to ensure our safety and security. They love meeting the Prime Minister and his “friends”. They loved getting their medals, shirts and other swag that runners crave so much for. Another highlight was the firing of the M777 howitzer to start the event! All in all, they had a wonderful and unforgettable time in Ottawa.

As for the future, the boys were able to get a promise from Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MP Francis Drouin that he’d show up one Sunday morning and run with them and the Hawkesbury Runners. We’d also like to take this opportunity to congratulate all members of the club who participated in the 5km, 10km, Vimy Challenge (15kms) and Commanders Challenge (26.1kms ) events did run that day. Very well done.

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