Despite a rainy start, nearly 150 participants braved the elements for the 38th annual Mohawk Miles race on Sunday.
The Kahnawake Youth Center (KYC) event started in the evening but the organizers were well prepared and provided participants with free glow sticks, glow bracelets and vibrant neon shirts to ensure their safety.
“October is a little cooler, but we still get pretty good attendance,” said Cheyanne McComber, KYC community events organizer.
The event is a fall staple for many in the community.
“I think a lot of people are looking forward to it,” said Summer Lazare, who is also a community events organizer at KYC. “Autumn is coming. This is the last thing to do before it gets too cold to do anything outside.”
He emphasized the role of race in promoting community participation and physical activity.
Some of the participants did not participate in the race themselves but were there to cheer on their friends and family.
Terry Stacey, who attended to support his seven-year-old grandson Okerahawi Loft, expressed pride in his speed and past victories in school races.
“He’s pretty fast for his age. He’s been second and first a few times, so I’m here to support him and hope he does well,” Stacey said.
Many people have made this event an annual tradition with friends and family.
“It’s nice because it’s a way to get out. “I’m looking forward to it because they give you all kinds of sparkly things,” said Lori Taylor Ganley, who participated in the 5-mile walk. She has attended the event for ten years, along with her five sisters, three of whom joined her this year. “It is very pleasing to see children participating in the event”
Another experienced participant, Lanhotonkwas Goodleaf, took second place in the 1.6 KM and 5 KM runs. He has a long history with the event, starting at the young age of 10.
Onake Rowing Club coach Goodleaf gathered his entire team to participate in the race. The drill fits well with their current training regime in preparation for an international regatta in Hawaii next September.
“That’s a lot of endurance training,” he said.
After the race, KYC awarded the winners in the gym. Kanerahtens Bush finished first in both the 1.6 KM and 5 KM runs, John-Ross Guarico Lozano finished first in the 3 KM run, Zack Powell finished first in the 10 KM run and Rafael Burgos finished first. 5 KM walk.
Preparation for the Mohawk Miles race begins months in advance, with organizers taking care of details such as illuminated signs and event logos. According to organizers, promotion of the event through local radio station K1037 and community outreach efforts played a vital role in spreading awareness of the event.
Looking ahead, KYC provides a busy calendar for the community, bridging events including Halloween festivities.