Sole Sisters run is bigger a nd bet ter t h is yea r
Photo Credit: Sally Smith
Smiths Falls - Sally Smith sally@pd gmedia.ca Where did it all start for the Sole Sisters? Catch the two run organizers together and you’ll find out they’ve actually known each other for 20 years. They first met at CHEO where Sheila Coutts became a mentor for a young, newly-minted nurse - France Murdoch. They remained vague acquaintances through the years and serendipitously re-connected via a work-related phone call in 2011. During the conversation they learned each was in training - Coutts to run a 10 km race and Murdoch to walk a half marathon. They decided to train together, and things clicked. That was in May 2012. Today, both are still in the health field, Murdoch as a nurse practitioner in Smiths Falls and Coutts working in doctors’ offices in Manotick and Smiths Falls, and teaching at St. Lawrence College in Brockville. She teaches in the nursing program helping student nurses with their placements; and, in all truth, “passing on things that no one tells you.” Running has been a huge part of Coutts’ life. She began in 1998 on a treadmill during a rehab stint for a broken ankle. (She now has a metal plate in her ankle.) Eventually she took to running outside “progressing slowly to every other hydro pole,” she says, laughing at her memories. “You know, people say they can’t get into running, it’s too hard, but I really liked it right from the start. I like it to this day. You find your pace and just do it.” And it’s stood her in good stead. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in
2012, and running kept her sane throughout the strenuous ordeal of three courses of chemotherapy and two of radiation. About a year before she received the life-changing news of cancer, Coutts had taught Murdoch to run, so the two kept training through that fearful time. “I didn’t know if I was running from something or to something but running gave me things to think about” other than cancer, Coutts recalls. And running also gave her an edge going into the treatment. As a registered nurse, she knew what patients went through, what cancer did to body and mind. She learned along the way that being in good physical shape helped tremendously in her fight to come out the other side as unscathed as possible. The first Sole Sisters run as we know it today was in 2013. This year’s event is on Oct. 16, starting at Lower Reach Park in Smiths Falls at 8 a.m. There are 2 km, 5 km and 10 km routes. There are more than 140 registered runners so far, and Murdoch makes a plea to register before the event, although they will “absolutely” take race-day registration. “We won’t turn anyone away. Please come and share your stories.” Each registered participant will receive custom Sole Sister shoelaces, and a medal; the first three runners to cross the finish line in each event will get free registration for next year’s run. As always, they need volunteers as route marshals, at water tables, for registration, as drivers, for First Aid, for cheering and to clean up afterwards. The event provides a perfect op-
portunity for high school students to earn some of your volunteer hours. Until this year, proceeds have all gone to cancer research. “If there’s no research, there’s no advancement,” Coutts says. The last round of her treatment included a research drug. This year a portion of the funds will go to a new chemotherapy unit at the Great War Memorial Hospital in Perth. That way, people can be treated for cancer locally. Coutts knows too well the time spent driving to and from hospitals for treatment — two of hers were at the Queensway, one at the General in Ottawa. When you already feel awful, spending hours on the road just adds to the feeling of sickness. “Your time can be better spent living life rather than fighting for it,” Coutts says. The hope is the unit will serve as many as 100 patients this year. The unit is a satellite chemotherapy clinic of the regional cancer program out of Kingston General Hospital. If you can give a couple of hours for a great cause and two genuine women, contact Vicki Christensen at email@example.com. To register for the run, go to http://solesistersrun.weebly.com/. This year, dogs on leashes and children in strollers are welcome to walk; if children are registered, they too will receive a medal. Registration fees: $20 for 2 km, $40 for 5 km and $60 for 10 km. After the event, join racers at C’est Tout Bakery on Beckwith Street in downtown Smiths Falls for a hot or cold breakfast with a donation of choice going back to Sole Sisters’ fundraising pot.
B a r n D o or's 2 2 nd s e a s on of theatre magic set to open Perth - Submitted
"This is MAGIC!" were the words of an opening night patron at one of BarnDoor Productions (BDP)' 21st season shows. And isn't that what theatre is supposed to be — a magical evening? Perth's BDP has been expanding the envelope of that magic since 1995, whether it was with outdoor Shakespeare, original plays and musicals, or being integral in the creation of both of Perth's full-time performance venues. The magic that made up BDP's 21st season also helped give the community theatre a more than 20 per cent growth in audience numbers as more and more people were reminded of the high-energy, high-excitement theatre that happens, production after production, at the former car-wash on Craig Street. After a 21st season that included everything from Canadian premieres, brandnew adaptations, rarely seen treasures and a whole summer season of original shows celebrating the 200th anniversary of their community, BDP is ready to take the stage again with a 22nd season that continues to push the envelope. From the hottest play fresh off Broadway, to a special pairing of Christmas plays, to an all-new adaptation of one of the most
successful mystery-thrillers of all time, to a new play from a hot new playwright, to a summer of perfect holiday fare, BDP's 22nd season will keep the magic going. Opening on Oct. 14 and running until Oct. 23 is a long-awaited production that the company has been working two years to bring to the stage in Perth. Venus In Fur, by David Ives, opened off-Broadway in 2010, moved to Broadway in 2011, won Tony Awards that year and became the most produced play in North America in 2012. It is a reality-twisting 95 minutes of laughs, interspersed with shocks and a few seconds of pure terror -- in other words, terrific theatre. A playwright is auditioning to find the perfect actress for the lead role in his new play based on Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch's infamous 1870 novel, Venus In Fur. At the last second, a tardy, obviously unsuitable candidate rushes through the door — and proceeds to turn everything the playwright (and the audience) thought about the play (and maybe their lives) upside down. Playgoers are advised that Venus In Fur is very frank in both language and situation. It is probably the most sexually-charged show that has ever been staged in Perth. It is intense, funny, surpris-
ing, shocking and unlike any show you've seen in a long, long time. Where it goes in the end is a journey that is totally unpredictable from moment to moment, but which might just change your way of thinking. BarnDoor Productions' 22nd season continues after Venus In Fur with a double-header, The Christmas Tree and The Song of Mary, for December, a new adaptation of George M. Cohan's classic thriller 7 Keys To Baldpate in February, The Tin Woman, a new comedy/drama from a hot new American playwright in April, and a summer lineup ranging from fun farce to a new musical version of a 2,400 year old comedy! Venus In Fur runs Oct. 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 at 8:00 p.m., Oct. 16 and 23 at 2:00 p.m. at Full Circle Theatre, 26 Craig Street, Perth, near Last Duel Park. Tickets are $20 reserved; $22 at the door. Post-secondary students are just $10. Due to the nature of the play, it is not recommended for younger people. To reserve, simply call 613 267 1884. No credit cards are required; cash at the performance is requested. Information on BDP's 22nd season and all the events at Full Circle Theatre is at www. barndoorproductions.ca.