From The Secret Marathon 3K
Canadian Film Inspires Global Movement for Equality
On Wednesday, March 4, during the week of International Women’s Day thousands of people across Canada and around the world will lace up their runners to show their support for everyone’s right to run free. Inspired by award winning documentary film, The Secret Marathon which tells the story of the first women in Afghanistan to run a marathon, participants will participate in The Secret 3K – an annual run/walk event to celebrate gender equality and safe and inclusive spaces.
Film Director and Producer, Kate McKenzie shares, “While filming a documentary in Afghanistan, I was inspired by such brave women and girls who fought for equality and at times, risked their lives for the freedom to run outdoors. When I returned to Canada, I was struck by the stories of so many women who told me they didn’t feel safe to walk or run at night right here in Canada. The Secret 3K was launched to reclaim safe public spaces and champion gender equality here at home.”
This year, The Secret 3K has grown and will feature marquee events in every Canadian province as well as pop-up Virtual events in smaller centres all across Canada and around the world. “Last year we had participants from 16 different countries,” said running legend, Martin Parnell. Parnell is featured in the film and has continued his work to encourage access to sport as the Virtual Race Director for The Secret 3K. “In part because of the film and the book that came out last year, new people are discovering this beautiful story and are motivated to spread this message of hope.”
Parnell and McKenzie are joined by national partners including Running Room and Girl Guides of Canada. “We want The Secret 3K to make a difference locally and globally,” said McKenzie, “So we have partnered with Girl Guides of Canada locally and internationally we support removing barriers for women to access sport and education through The Marathon of Afghanistan as well as the charity, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan.”
“We are excited to be the Official Charity Partner with The Secret 3K in 2020,” said Jill Zelmanovits, CEO, Girl Guides of Canada. “Gender equality and safe spaces for girls are what we are all about so this partnership is a natural fit. Our members agree too and they are coming out in force to support Secret 3K events across the country as volunteers and participants.”
The Secret 3K, now in its third year, was inspired by McKenzie’s documentary film The Secret Marathon, in which she and Parnell traveled to Afghanistan to support that country’s first female marathoners. The film premiered at several major film festivals this fall and audiences registered to participate in this year’s Secret 3K. Since its inception, The Secret 3K has grown to become an international movement with 16 affiliated events across Canada and 16 countries participating around the world.
● Event hosted in every Canadian province and around the world through virtual participants
● Girl Guides can earn a special crest for growing their leadership skills by volunteering with the event or by meeting a fitness goal of participating in the 3 km run/walk themselves.
● 1,330 participants registered for last year’s walk/run generating $15,935 for charity
● 17 countries participated last year including US, UK, China, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Portugal, Denmark, Israel, Uganda, and Afghanistan
“In Afghanistan by hosting a safe race they are working towards making a safe place, we asked ourselves why couldn’t we do that here in Canada and help everyone feel safe to run and walk in their community.”
- Kate McKenzie, Co-Founder and National Race Director, The Secret 3K
“In Afghanistan, some of the country’s first female marathoners were Girl Guides. So it is only fitting that Girl Guides of Canada should come aboard as the Official Charity Partner of The Secret 3K.”
– Martin Parnell, Co-Founder, The Secret 3K
“The sport of running is all inclusive, an empowering activity, one engaging the runner or walker physically, emotionally and spiritually. The Secret Marathon builds a sense of community during a time in which our world needs more community… a community of people helping and supporting each other.”
– John Stanton, Founder & CEO, The Running Room
#RedDeerStrong – Group focussed fitness studio F45 offers fitness opportunities for isolated athletes
F45 is for people who are already in shape and want to maintain, and for those who really want to kick their cardio up a notch. The business is just a few months old and finds itself fighting to pay the rent as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on group gatherings.
What does your business do?
Our studio is a community and group training focused fitness studio. We are the fastest growing fitness network in the world and are happy to bring this to our hometown of Red Deer. We are adaptable for all fitness levels and deliver a 45 minute high intensity Functional training workout. F45.
How has COVID-19 affected you?
Due to the concern for our members we made the decision to close our doors. Days later it was mandated by the government. We are only operational for 5 months so this was a huge shock to our new community and finances. We went to zero income overnight.
What are you doing to adapt?
To adapt we are offering live Zoom workouts to members at less than a 50% discount off their regular membership rate. F45 HQ has also produced workouts that are available on our app. This has been amazing to help our members mental and physic health while social distancing.it also has helped cover a few of our needs to pay within the studio.
What kind of help do you need?
Being a very new busy within Red Deer any advertising and awareness to our studio would beneficial . The government has offered some very helpful solutions foe small businesses which we are grateful for.
What do you want the community to know?
We want our community to know that they are not alone. We offer fun and interactive F45Live video workouts that will keep them healthy physically and mentally at a reasonable cost.
The Red Deer Downtown Business Association opens up survey for downtown identity project.
The Red Deer Downtown Business Association (DBA) is proud to announce the launch of their survey to assist the DBA’s ongoing efforts of creating an identity for Downtown Red Deer. This survey will be used to gain feedback from citizens of Red Deer and surrounding communities on their thoughts of downtown.
The DBA is looking for 20 individuals that complete the 3 to 5-minute survey, to participate in a longer 20-minute interview in return for a $10 gift card to one of the specialty coffee shops in the core.
The Downtown Business Association has been operating in Red Deer for over 30 years, serving approximately five-hundred business owners in the Downtown area. Through partnerships and leadership in advocacy and promotion, the DBA is the catalyst for a vibrant and prosperous downtown that is the place to live, work, play and do business.
For more information, contact: Amanda Gould, Executive Director, Red Deer Downtown Businesses Association 403.340.8696
(originally published March 30, 2020)
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