Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Meet The Torchbearers - Alex Bain

Coke has a webpage
Meet The Torchbearers"

If you click by the little Lighthouse on Prince Edward Island,
you can read an edited version of the essay Alex wrote
that won him his spot with Coke as an Olympic Torchbearer:

Lately, far more than "about 200 people per day" have been visiting
this blog. So far this month, there have been over 10,600 visitors.
The graph below shows the week surrounding his Sunday Torch Run.

1,023 visitors checked out this blog the day of Alex's Olympic Torch Run.

On another Coke page,
Meet Some of our Torchbearers" at the Coke Newsroom,
on the November 22nd page

Coca-Cola Torchbearers – November 22nd

Alex Bain

Hometown: Oyster Bed Bridge

Carrying Torch: Winsloe

Alex Bain is autistic, he runs for autism awareness, acceptance and inclusion. Bain has always been active and particularly interested in running. He joined the track and field and cross country teams at school and the RoadRunners Club in P.E.I. He trains through the week, year round, alone and with a group.

Bain has won many awards for his participation in running: rookie of the year in 2004, inspirational runner of the year in 2005 and the Bluefield High School cross country award of distinction in 2005.

In 2006, Bain ran a half marathon a day all across P.E.I. on the Autistic Celebration Run to raise awareness and train law enforcement and first responders in autism recognition and response. Bain has begun mentoring an autistic student with running and typing. He reports his runs on his blog; Runman. Bain carries the torch to celebrate active and diverse Canadians.


You can see who the Coke Torchbearers are at

You can see who the RBC Torchbearers are at
(you can also search by 'name' or 'date')

Saturday, November 28, 2009

T'was the Month Before Christmas Run/Walk For Christmas Families

Santa & Gord lead warm-up

It was sun and cloud and 10 degrees.

T'was The Month Before Christmas Run/Walk For Christmas Families at UPEI. The fundraiser for UFIT Cares Foundation.

David Gallant won the race on new course and Rebecca Pike for the top female. Steve Reeves won the 5km race and Kelly McCosham for the top female.

I finished in 42:31 and came in 6th out of 36 runners.

My brother Ben ran the first road race since St. Patrick Day Run in 2006
and completes the 5km run.

Thank You Cheryl for bring me a poster from Philadelphia Marathon where Cheryl and Pam set PBs. Congratulations!

Thanks John for a book "Born To Run".

Next week I wear my Olympic Torchbearer tracksuit at Turkey Trot at Souris.

Official Result: 6th out of 36
10K in 42 minutes, 31 seconds

T'was the Month before Christmas Run 2007
T'was the Month before Christmas Run 2006

Ben's finish -----------------------------Santa and Torch

Athena, Dianne, Alex, Cathy, Ewen, Rose

Running For Autism
Not Against It
acceptance, inclusion, awareness

Friday, November 27, 2009

Paralympic Games organizers seeking torch bearers

By Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun

Paralympians Karolina Wisniewska (left) and Brad Leanna model Paralympic torch and torchbearers uniforms for the 2010 Paralympic Games.

Paralympians Karolina Wisniewska (left) and Brad Leanna model Paralympic torch and torchbearers uniforms for the 2010 Paralympic Games.

Photograph by: Ian Lindsay, Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Sun

VANCOUVER - It's not nearly as long or requires as many people as its Olympic brother, but on Friday the organizers of the 2010 Paralympic Games began accepting applications for its own torch relay.

Starting March 3 in front of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, and lasting 10 days as it traverses through 11 cities, the Paralympic Torch Relay will need 600 people to carry it across the country.

Three of those torchbearers have now been named, but the Vancouver Organizing Committee said is looking for many more and has opened an online application process to look for those candidates.

Like the Olympic torchbearer selection process, applicants for the Paralympic relay will have to give organizers a reason to pick them. In this case, it will be to "describe why they want to be a torchbearer and how they embody the Paralympic values in their everyday life," Vanoc said in a statement.

Two of the torchbearers named Friday are from Vancouver; Anne Bethune, the president of the Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports and who has been involved with the Disabled Skiers Association for more than 20 years, and Al Etmanski, the co-founder of Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network.

Vanoc also identified amputee runner Rick Ball of Orillia, Ont. as a torchbearer.

Bethune was chosen as the first torchbearer for Coca-Cola, one of the two co-sponsors of both the Paralympic and Olympic relays. RBC, the other co-sponsor, picked Etmanski.

John Furlong, the chief executive of Vanoc, said each of the 600 torchbearers will be "individual sparks, adding to the brightness of the Paralympic Flame as it travels towards Vancouver."

Unlike the Olympic flame, which was lit in Olympia, the Paralympic flame, a relatively new phenomenon, has no ancestral home. For that reason it will be lit in an aboriginal-themed event on Parliament Hill involving torchbearers representing every province and territory.

In announcing the relay route and torchbearer selection process, Vanoc also confirmed it has added Toronto - Canada's largest city - to the relay. It is not known why it was left off the list in the first place, but Gary Lunn, said the relay will stop there on March 5.

Most of the relay will be in B.C. The torch will leave Ottawa on March 3 and go to Montreal before heading to Toronto. From there it will jump to Victoria and Esquimalt before heading to Squamish for the start of a circle tour from Whistler to Lytton, Hope and Maple Ridge before hitting Vancouver on March 10-12.

The last day it will say in downtown Vancouver before heading to BC Place for the opening ceremony.

Ball, who hopes to compete for Canada at the 2012 London Paralympics, said he was honored to carry the torch..

"When I took up competitive running two years ago I never dreamed I could be a part of something like this. I know it's often said that dreams can come true if you work hard, but these athletes...they're living proof of this," he said in a statement furnished by Vanoc.

For entry details, go to

Local Seafood Guru John Bil meets Olympic Torch Relay Reporter Chris Wheeler

This official Olympic Torch Relay video by Olympic Torch Relay Reporter Chris Wheeler features fellow runner John Bil - not running with the torch but in his role as "local seafood Guru" serving up oysters at the Ship to Shore. Looking good John!

"Olympic Torch Relay Reporter Chris Wheeler follows the Olympic flame across Prince Edward Island to the celebrations in Charlottetown! During his journey, he meets with locals that show him a sample of what PEI seafood is all about!"

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Olympic torch lights autistic boy's dream

Alex is not the only autistic Torchbearer in the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. Thirteen year old
Mackenzie Allan will get his turn to carry the flame on Day 62 - December 31st at 1pm in Barrie Ontario.

Like Mackenzie's parents, Alex's parents also
"hope other families touched by autism can embrace kids' potential despite the numerous challenges".

When Alex wrote his winning essay to Coke, he asked that, as an autistic and a distance runner,
Coke pick him to "represent and celebrate active and diverse Canadians".
We'll be watching and celebrating Mackenzie's run too!

Olympic torch lights autistic boy's dream

Torchbearer's parents hope other families touched by autism can embrace kids' potential despite the numerous challenges


Mackenzie Allan could sing the lyrics to O Canada before he could even talk.

So it's only fitting that the 13-year-old autistic boy, who lives in south Barrie, will be one of 12,000 people to carry the Olympic torch in the coming weeks leading up to the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.

For his parents, Brad and Catharine, it's also a dream come true, seeing their son's progression effectively taking him to the world stage. He has overcome learning difficulties and frequent meltdowns -- even sitting still had been a challenge.

Mackenzie's father submitted Mackenzie's name for the Torch Relay and was selected in July when the family was camping at Algonquin Park. He will carry the torch for 300 metres on Dec. 29, beginning at 1 p. m., from Midland Town Hall to the local RBC branch. The special warm-up uniform arrived last week.

The torch will be in Simcoe County on Dec. 29 and Dec. 30.

Mackenzie said he feels "pretty good, happy and excited" about the opportunity.

"The reason we're doing this is for the parents," Catharine said.

"When you get the diagnosis, you feel like your life is over. To parents, I just want to say, 'Don't give up. Work with your child.'" "Sometimes autism is scary," she added. "The world is getting better with (how it responds to) autism. We have to get along and the Olympics is about everybody."

Mackenzie's parents don't expect he will become nervous during his leg of the relay.

"He likes the limelight," said his dad. "Don't give him a mic."

Mackenzie was diagnosed at about 30 months old, when the family lived in Sioux Lookout. His form of autism is considered high-functioning.

"It took a long time for him to speak, but everyday he would hear O Canada (at school)," said Catharine, a registered nurse in Royal Victoria Hospital's emergency department. "He started singing the words, but we hadn't really had him talking.

"We were almost in tears, so O Canadareally meant something to us," she added. "It was hope. He was saying the odd word, but it was very limited. And then it just took off."

The Grade 7 student at Algonquin Ridge Elementary School still has some difficulty speaking, "but he really is a miracle child," said his mom.

Mackenzie was like any other child until he was two years old, when his parents noticed changes in his social skills. They began wondering whether he was deaf.

"It's pretty hard, as a parent, to watch that," said Brad, a biologist with the Ministry of Natural Resources. "Your kid goes away and another one comes back."

The Allans put everything they had into Mackenzie's intensive behavioural intervention (IBI) treatment and it has worked for them.

"I can't dream big enough," said Brad. "He's come a long way. Now we're in a situation where we want him to learn."

Mackenzie's dream is to be a computer game programmer.

One of Mackenzie's strong points has always been his reading skills, his parents say. When he was in Grade 6, he used to read to kindergarten students.

"That was his way of being a champion," said his proud dad, adding his son also possesses strong math skills.

"He says he sees himself like an athlete," added Catharine, "because everything he does is a challenge. He sees himself as a hero, or an athlete."

Autism can be tough on families. The divorce rate for parents with autistic children is through the roof.

"We have a good foundation," Catharine said. "It's all about the family."

His father once worried that his youngest son would never play hockey. But Mackenzie, whose sports-loving family also includes two older brothers, signed up with the Barrie Christian Hockey League three years ago. The right-winger, who cheers for the Toronto Maple Leafs, scored his first goal last season. His parents say it has helped the boy with receiving instruction, learning about winning and losing, and team-building.

"You have to find the right way to motivate," Catharine said, adding Mackenzie also embraced scuba diving during a recent trip to Cuba.


One further comment.... "The divorce rate for parents with autistic children is through the roof" -- This is a media myth with no factual basis. In fact, research shows exactly the opposite -

"It is heartening to note that research has not shown that parenting a child with a disability always has an overall negative effect on the parents' relationship. Despite all the difficulties, couples with a child with an ASD have been shown to be no different from typical parents when it comes to reports of spousal support, respect for partner, or commitment.7 Another encouraging fact: we could find absolutely no support for the 80% divorce rate for families with a child with ASD commonly cited around the autism community.8,9 A study looking at divorce rates for families of children with assorted disabilities found an average increase (over the rate for couples with non-disabled children) of only 5.97%.10 An Easter Seals' survey of families with a child on the autism spectrum, moreover, found parents of a child with an ASD to be less likely to have ever been divorced than the parents of a typically developing child.11"

Thank You!

Thank You!

One of the very first things Alex had to say about his Olympic Torch Run experience was "Thank You PEI RoadRunners".
Moments later, when I asked him what the best part of his run was, he replied "my fans". That "thank you" was the first thing he wanted to say when he blogged about his experience. There were RoadRunners too numerous to mention.
Thanks Ellen for arranging the pre Torch Run long run on the trail to get the
Sunday long runners in the right place at the right time.
There were four very special ladies who worked with Alex as TAs (Teachers Aides, now referred to as Educational Aides) spanning his life from age 3 to Grade 12.
There were family and friends and even an Olympian.
Thanks to CTV's live webcam, family across Canada were also watching.

"Thank You I was very happy to see everyone and cheer to me."

I'd like to add my own thanks to all of you, it was a very special moment for Alex,
made all the more special by being able to share it with so many of you.
(And thanks for the great pictures many of you got! You'll notice that not all the photos in the album are mine, if you have some please send them to me)

Thanks to Jeff Doucette from the Petro Canada & Robin's Donuts
for giving us a deal on the coffee we were able to offer to you.
"Thank You Jeff!"

Thanks to Coke for picking Alex as a Torchbearer!
Alex asked that, as an autistic and a distance runner,
Coke pick him to "represent and celebrate active and diverse Canadians".

Thank you Sarah Mitchell, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Team Torchbearer Coordinator from Coke, for her part in Alex's run.
She had a hand in slotting him into the Winsloe leg, was there to watch over him Sunday, and made sure the Coke Truck treated his "fans" with flags, Coke and lots of energy.

"Thanks Sarah!"

Alex was in for another big treat when I got an email from the 1988 PEI Olympic Torchbearer and current Coke employee Paul Crabbe who found his way to our blog thanks to his sister who was looking for a story the Journal Pioneer had done with him. Paul emailed and offered Alex a rare Coke PEI Torchbeaerer pin.

Today we met with Paul

He gave Alex not only the PEI pin and a couple of regular Coke Olympic pins,
but also a jacket, t-shirt & 2010 calendar poster! Thanks Paul!

"Thank You Paul I really like the Coke gifts."

"Thank You to Nannie

and Doug and Spring
for sending the money to help buy my
Olympic Torch Run souvenirs."

and thanks to Ben and Jasmine for taking photos & video!

Competing in Olympics on home soil would be amazing, says Moyse

Competing in Olympics on home soil would be amazing, says Moyse
Related video-on-demand Related Broadcasts:
Heather Moyse at the Olympic torch relay stop in Summerside on Sunday evening. Stephen Brun/Journal Pioneer

Heather Moyse at the Olympic torch relay stop in Summerside on Sunday evening. Stephen Brun/Journal Pioneer

The Journal Pioneer

SUMMERSIDE — Heather Moyse carried the Olympic flame through her hometown last weekend, and now she’s setting her sights on following the flame to Vancouver.
The 31-year-old bobsledder narrowly missed out on a bronze medal with driver Helen Upperton at the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy.
The Summerside native is in the midst of an eight-race tour through the United States and Europe, which will determine her fate in 2010.
Moyse said she’ll find out after the seventh race whether she’ll be a brake person for a Canadian driver in the Olympics.
“I think it will be even more amazing to go this year because the Olympics are in Canada and in front of the people I do this for,” Moyse said at the torch relay ceremony in Summerside. “It’s really rare that you get to go to the Olympics at home and it would be an honour.
“It’s a pretty emotional topic for me because I want to make people proud and I want to put where I’m from on the map.”
Moyse is vying for an Olympic spot along with two other world-class brakers, Jenny Ciochetti of Edmonton, and Shelley-Ann Brown of Pickering, Ont.
This year is slightly different, however, because the Canadian team has the opportunity to qualify three sleds for Vancouver. If that happens, none of the three brakers will be cut.
Moyse said choosing a braker is subjective to the sledders’ chemistry with the driver, something she’s been feeling with Calgary’s Kaillie Humphries, 24.
“We shattered the start record together in Park City, Utah, and we just push so well together,” said Moyse. “The race we just had (in Lake Placid, N.Y.), we tied the push start record there and we ended up with a bronze medal.
“It’s hard to directly compare braking when you’re working with different drivers. I just have to do my job and push as well as I can every race.
“I’m just going to take it one run at a time because it’s even more stressful to think about the long term.”
Shortly after the Torino Games, Moyse took time off to earn her masters degree and injured her shoulder the following year.
But if she does realize her Olympic dream for the second time, Moyse feels she’s better prepared this time around.
“The year after I did my masters I was really tired and the season looked OK on paper, but it wasn’t the greatest,” Moyse said. “I’ve had a few injuries I was dealing with over the summer, but the first race of the season felt great and I finally feel like I’m back to what I was at the last Olympic season, only with a little more training and a little more substance behind it.”

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This Saturday's Run - T'was the Month Before Christmas Run/Walk For Christmas Families

T'was the Month Before Christmas Run and Walk
For Christmas Families

Saturday , November 28, 2008
5K and 10K Run & 1 Km Fun Run/Walk

Starting Time: 9:00 a.m.
Registration: 8:00 a.m. at UPEI Student Centre
Fundraiser: PEI Families in Need at Christmas
Contact: Kim Bailey 368-9019, Dave Carmichael,
Dwayne McNeill
Cost: $10.00 for the 5/10km, Donations for the 1km
Notes: Post race snacks, Door prizes, All money goes to buying food items and supplies for needy PEI families at Christmas
Perchance Santa will make an appearance??? A great chance to get into the Christmas spirit of giving to those less fortunate on PEI
Course Description: Beginning on the far side of the UPEI track, run one complete lap of the track in a clockwise direction and then head out towards the back entrance of the track on the service road, follow the service road and turn right on the UPEI perimeter road toward the University Road entrance. At the University Road entrance turn left down towards Belvedere Avenue. Turn left at Belvedere Avenue toward the Belvedere entrance of UPEI. From the Belvedere entrance follow the service road to the pathway to Mt St. Mary's. Turn right on to the path way then turn right onto the Confederation Trail. Follow the trail to Belvedere avenue, turn right at Belvedere Avenue, then turn right at the path way in front of the Food Technology center to the UPEI perimeter road . Follow the road way back to the track
5 K Directions enter the track turn right and complete one complete lap in a counter clockwise direction to the start finish line.
10 K Direction, Enter the Track turn Left, run in a clockwise direction for one complete lap then head back out the service road and complete one more loop around UPEI.
1km Fun Run/Walk: 2 and a half laps around the track

T'was the Month before Christmas Run 2007 ~ T'was the Month before Christmas Run 2006

Photos from
T'was the Month Before Christmas Run (2006-2007)

Alex will be bringing his Olympic Torch to the run
for anyone who wants to see it and/or have their photo taken with it.