SIX NATIONS – Dubbed the largest Moment 4 Life event of the year, the Annual Six Nations Colour Run made it through with a great turn out and without the expected thunderstorm.
Runners were able to register and receive colour run swag on Sunday, Oct. 3, as they prepared to have splashes of coloured paint thrown at them while completing a one kilometre or five kilometre run around the track. Runners came in all shapes, sizes and ages, and showed their support for those affected by suicide.
When asked what brought her to the task of organizing the successful event, Special Project Co-ordinator at SN Health Services Jess Hill said this event is one she connects with because she has “struggled with anxiety, depression and PTSD as well as suicide,” herself.
“My passion is ‘if I make a difference in one life, I know that I’m doing the right thing.’ And that’s kind of what I’m trying to do in the community here,” said Hill, explaining that her loss of cultural identity definitely impacted her.
“I know that I struggle with it and I’m older, and I know that there’s a lot of teens. But in Six Nations it’s all across the life span; we have children as young as four or five years old expressing suicide ideation all the way up to elders aged 65. So, it’s all across the life span for us, and my message is you don’t have to be just young to experience it,” she said.
Hill explained that it is the support generated by events such as the colour run that help with suicide awareness. As well, she said that participants were given white carnation as not only a keepsake, but also to honour a loved one they’ve lost or simply to support those affected by suicide.
But, with the reality of the run aside, Hill said she is very thankful for the even to have gone smoothly for all.
“I think it went very well for a rain day,” she said with a laugh. “With the weather today holding off long enough for us to do this run, I think it’s awesome.”
“We have a wide range of people coming here and it’s awesome just see the spirit. The spirits and attitudes of this are insanely high and that’s what we want to promote,” she said.
Supporter and Volunteer Mackenzie Bomberry said, “it was a lot of fun,” as she volunteered to help throw paint powder.
“I work with Chuck and Alex in the Youth Leadership Group, so they have a group that get’s out in the community and we do events like this,” said Bomberry, explaining that her involvement allowed her to exercise her leadership skills. “But I’m here to support, and I think it was fun. I got covered in colour powder for sure,” she said with a laugh.
The event was graced with many participants, good weather, and a communal sense of support.