I am going to start this blog with my own big shout out to the many people who crowd the sidelines of the race every year to cheer, congratulate and encourage the thousands of runners who pass by. Thank you, thank you!
Again this year, there will be an army of volunteers out on race day forming cheering stations. These groups are supported through the race weekend community spirit fund.
I encourage anyone who is not running in the Tamarack Homes, Ottawa Race Weekend to set up their own little cheering section as I have with my little team of Mom In the Know fans. Here are some useful tips.
Runners love to read signs along the race course to help break the monotony. My all time favourites are: and “You are my Hero Today!”
Bring Noisemakers and Pick an Encouraging Phrase.
Make sure your little cheer team has something to do besides clapping. Fill old pop bottles with pennies, tie racket makers to a stick. The preparation is half of the fun. Teach them to say things like: “Way to run,” “You can do it,” “Looking strong,” “Nice job,” “You’re flying,” or “Looking good.”
Be sure that your team can see you on the course and that you can see them.
Tell them in advance what you will be wearing and put your name on your shirt. Tie balloons to your cheer team’s chair so you can see them too.
Plan to wait
Pack your team a picnic lunch. Thyme and Again is a great source for fresh, locally prepared foods. Sure to keep your little team full of energy. Also, plan for the weather. The race goes rain or shine and so does your cheer team. Duck into Trailhead for outdoor gear to keep your dry or cool as the weather dictates. They also have an enormous selection of coolers, water bottles and backpacks to keep you organized in style!
Many large marathons have a variety of great services to help spectators follow their runners. See if the race’s web site has a sign-up for a runner tracking system, which can send alerts to cell phones, pagers, or wireless handheld devices.
Have a Finish-Line Plan The finish line area can be crowded and chaotic, so make sure you and your runner have a plan to meet up after he or she crosses the finish line.
Tips for Runners
Don’t forget to thank those cheering on the sidelines. I know that you are working hard, but these folks have stood for hours, hollering, clapping and jumping up and down. This is their race too.
Join the Lemonade Brigade
** Originally Published in Ottawa Parenting Times
Third annual Great Canadian Lemonade Standemonium aims to raise money and awareness for cancer care in Ottawa
Hosting a lemonade stand is one of the most popular summer fun activities for kids.
And on Saturday, June 6, the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation is sparking a lemonade stand movement and hosting the third annual Great Canadian Lemonade Standemonium, presented by Palladium Insurance.
It’s a fun-filled, one-day fundraiser where kids host stands in their neighbourhood, while raising funds and awareness for cancer care in the Ottawa community.
Over the last two years, more than 600 kids have hosted stands and helped to raise more than $119,000 for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. Those funds have been put to work for cancer research and cancer coaching.
This year, funds raised will help provide cancer coaching to families in our community. Cancer coaching focuses on the person – and helps with their physical, informational, emotional and spiritual needs – to help them meet the challenges of cancer and improve their overall quality of life.
How can YOU get involved? Registering for the Great Canadian Lemonade Stand is easy!
- Join the Lemonade Brigade movement and make a STAND against cancer.
- Register your stand at www.ottawacancer.ca/lemonade.
- Recruit your family or friends to join your stand – the more the merrier! Everyone who registers online will be eligible to win great prizes.
- Plan out where you would like to host your stand. At a nearby store, at the end of your driveway, at a playground – there are loads of choices. But be sure to ask your parents for help in determining where to host your stand, and get permission from your chosen location.
- Get your mom and dad involved and send an email to let family and friends know where your stand will be hosted, and a link to donate to your virtual stand. All this can be done through your online stand page.
- Get family and friends involved and design and build your own custom stand.
- Plan out your stand campaign. Decide when you will be hosting your stand – you can host a stand more than once leading up to June 6, and then on Lemonade Stand Day. Also, be sure to decide what you would like to serve at your stand. There are great recipes at www.ottawacancer. ca/lemonade.
- Host your stand on or before Saturday, June 6.
- Drop off the funds raised at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation (1500 Alta Vista Dr.) on Sunday, June 7 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- Celebrate all of your successes and the work you have done to help local families who are facing cancer.
For more information about the Great Canadian Lemonade Standemonium, contact the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation at 613-247-3527.
Quick tips for building a lemonade stand
- Paint and decorate with bright colours.
- Consider using chalkboard or paint to make an instant sign on the stand.
- Attach pinwheels, streamers, balloons or other moving decorations to draw attention.
- Display a basket of colourful lemons on your table to get attention.
- Make great signs. Use large letters, arrows and eyecatching colours.
- Put out a bowl of water for dogs.
- Play music and get your groove on. Dance, dance, dance!
- Offer baked goods.
- Bring out your pom-poms and shout out a lemonade cheer.
Ottawa family joins Great Canadian Lemonade Standemonium in honour of ‘second chance’
Mark and Natalie Deschamps did not see it coming. On Nov. 3, 2011, they received news that devastated their family: Mark had cancer.
“To be diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, it was frightening, it was scary – and the fear inside me, I didn’t know what to do,” he said. “You can never be prepared for that.”
The news came as a shock. The healthy 40-year-old father of two young girls (Avery, 10, and Brooke, 8) was an avid runner, competing in 5k and 10k races.
“My life basically turned upside down,” he said. “It was something I couldn’t completely wrap my head around.”
“We knew that he had been dealt a really bad hand, but we didn’t want his diagnosis to affect the kids. We wanted them to see us happy, and most of all for them to experience what real family is,” said Natalie.
“They are too young to be so sad. They know that Daddy has ‘bobos’, but they also know that he’s overcome everything since day one.”
Today, Mark is doing well and his treatments are keeping the cancer from spreading. The couple believe they have been given a second chance, and credit their kids with giving them the inspiration to keep up the fight.
To honour of their dad, Avery and Brooke will take part in the Great Canadian Lemonade Standemonium, raising funds for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation to support other local families facing cancer.