The Shared Runs are a weekly event where runners and co-runners meet to share the pleasure of the great outdoors. This week, we showcase Sherbrooke’s organization. Sherbrooke is where the movement was created, while also being the birthplace of Kartus.
As a neurologist and running enthusiast, Marc Therrien was always asking himself the same questions. « Why do I run ? For whom do I run ? ». This thought process gave way to an idea : to share runs with people suffering from reduced mobility. In his medical practice, Marc was already seeing many patients in this situation. As he states:
« As a [healthcare professional] who is treating many neurological diseases, I also see the profound need for people to move outside and to be more included. The spirit of the Shared Runs is to provide this idea of well-being. »
Unfortunately, when Marc started the project, the chairs made for running weren’t up to par. That’s how Sherbrooke University became an integral part of the runs : with students from the engineering faculty, the first Kartus prototypes were made. Did you know that the Kartus name came from mixing Kart and US, representing Sherbrooke University ? The US was also chosen to reinforces the idea of a community.
Having been raised in Sherbrooke, Marc Therrien wanted to give back to the city by creating an inclusive movement. Eventually, partners came on board : the City of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke University, the Coureur shop, and Kartus. The buying of five chairs, in the summer of 2015, made the shared runs launch possible. The reasoning was to create a replicable model, which could eventually be implemented in different cities. Why not consider shared runs in Tokyo, Toronto or Boston in the near future ?
From movement to organization
As time went on, the runs evolved, becoming an organization.
« That the shared runs became an non-profit is a great thing : it enables the creation of many projects with our partners. The members of the committee are integral to these new developments, and we all feel a real sense of family. It also secures the shared runs in a more permanent fashion. »Marc Therrien
The Sherbrooke runners and co-runners are diverse : many come from CHSLD homes, others are students, social workers or even physical therapists. The community grows larger each year, since 2016. A real sense of community and ownership is found within the organization members, of which Marc is particularly proud :
«Putting aside the growing numbers and community, I’m more impressed by the warmth and openness of the people in every city with a shared run. To go to these runs is such a great healing experience for everyone involved. In 10 years, I hope the Shared Runs will have impacted many more lives, ideally in every part of the world.»
Does a beautiful stroll around the Lake Of Nations appeal to you ?
To know more about the Sherbrooke Runs: http://www.coursespartagees.com/