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The R.A.C.E. is on

Fundraiser trying to bring Kenyan girl to Halifax

The O'Connor children running with a world class runner in Kenya.
By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
April 19, 2017

HALIFAX – Fleur O’Connor and her family are crossing their fingers that a special guest will be here for The R.A.C.E. Run this weekend.
It was the 13-year-old’s idea to sponsor Dorothy, a young girl from Kenya, and to bring her to Halifax for a few weeks to experience life here.
“As a fundraising initiative, to help make this all happen, we decided to put on this race,” said Jennifer O’Connor, Fleur’s mother. “We have been working on other initiatives as but this one is the biggest.”
R.A.C.E. stands for Run for Awareness, Courage and Empowerment, a name Fleur and her siblings came up with as a way to describe a goal for their event.
The April 23 event will take place at Point Pleasant Park in Halifax.
While they had planned to bring Dorothy here in time for the Blue Nose Marathon in May, after traveling to Kenya and meeting her mother they learned that she has holidays in April, making it a better time for her to travel. That put the wheels in motion to being her here sooner.
She was supposed to arrive on April 12, according to O’Connor.
“Unfortunately, her visa was denied and we have been working extremely hard to reapply for another visa and have it expedited so she receives it by Friday, April 21,” she said. “This way she could travel and make it in time to be here for The R.A.C.E. Run.
“She has been the main draw for this event all along,” she continued. “So many have come out in support of this happening. Now we just cross our fingers.”
The 5K event will take place at Point Pleasant Park, using the same route as the MEC January race, beginning on the path next to the Shakespeare by the Sea building at the lower entrance to the park.
The course has a few elevation variations but too many uphills, according to O’Connor.
“We chose Point Pleasant Park for a few practical reasons initially, like not needing to have streets blocked off to control traffic,” she said. “But as we looked further we felt that Point Pleasant Park is such an iconic piece of Halifax, it has wonderful views and provides a little mystery to the run.”
The family had a goal of 100 participants, and was confident that will be reached on Sunday. They will have more than 20 volunteers on the course with signs, noisemakers and energy, with one water station at the halfway point.
For more information on The R.A.C.E. Run, visit here .
Dorothy is hoping to make it to Halifax in time for the run on Sunday.