By Joanie Veitch,
After winning the team competition in last year’s Navy 10K Run Virtual Series, when this year’s run was announced as an online challenge, Cdr Jennifer Gosse knew her Base chaplains would put a team together to contend for the winning title again.
“Winning the team challenge last year, I thought ‘well, there’s a first for everything’,” she laughed. “Chaplains aren’t really known as being the most athletic people in the military. We try our best but we’re generally older than most of the members that we serve, so for the chaplains to win a sporting event? That was definitely a first, I would think.”
Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the 2021 Navy 10K Run is being held as a virtual event again this year. With free registration and open to everyone, the 2021 Navy 10K Run Virtual Series started June 1 and goes through to August 24.
Registration remains open and people can sign up any time.
For Cdr Gosse, a longtime runner who has taken part in many past Navy 10K runs, putting together a team last year for the online version of the run seemed a good way for the chaplains — a unit that is typically spread out and doesn’t get much opportunity to work together — to have some fun and stay fit through the pandemic.
“Being outdoors helps your mental health as well as your physical health. For me, it helps with my spiritual health too. Whether walking or running, being outside in nature is good for us,” she said.
Although the chaplain’s team doesn’t have a specific distance goal for this year’s virtual series, Cdr Gosse said she had set a personal goal to aim for 10 kilometres a day, through a combination of walking and running. Given that she’s moving to Ottawa in mid July to take up a new position that might prove a challenge, she said, adding that “having a goal helps to stay motivated.”
The chaplains are doing well again so far this year, said Kevin Miller, Navy 10K race director with Personnel Support Programs (PSP) Halifax. “They won with their total kilometres last year and they already got more than 1,100 kilometres between them in the first month. The chaplains are busy running and walking, and posting. It’s great to see.”
As with last year’s online series, the virtual running event offers both individual and team categories. Participants can either post their personal best times for a set distance — 800m, 1,500m, 2,500m, 5K or 10K — or track their total kilometres over the entire series, Miller explained.
“You can participate as much or as little as you want. You can register as an individual and be part of a team as well. You can do all the events or just do one set distance, one time. It’s really up to the individual,” he said. “The goal is just to get people out and get them active.”
No one has to motivate Emily Hamilton to get out and run. An elite runner, she was last year’s top female runner in the Navy 10K virtual run and has won previous, in-person iterations of the Navy 10K road race, along with many other races since moving to the region in 2006.
A former radar technician with the Royal Canadian Navy, Hamilton has just completed a four-year radiological technology program at Dalhousie University’s School of Health Sciences, where she also competed as part of the university’s varsity team.
Running competitively since she was nine years old, Hamilton averages about 450 kilometre a month, doing a mix of long runs and speed workouts.
“Running has always been something I love. It gives me better focus and makes me feel free,” Hamilton said.
For rules and details on how to register as a team or individual runner visit: https://raceroster.com/events/2021/48304/navy-10k-run-virtual-series.