MOREWOOD – Never underestimate the power of your own vision and the patience to see it through.

The first annual Morewood Firefighters Family Run was blessed with near perfect conditions and lead organizer Mark Kapcala couldn’t have been happier with the results as more than 45 runners registered.

“It’s all about getting the community out, enjoying the weather and bringing people together,” he said. “Fifty runners was our goal and we’re pretty close to it, so we’re happy with that.”

Now levitate! Shannon Rowe, a member of the North Dundas Fire Department, led participants in the Morewood Firefighters Family Run in a warm-up Sat., May 11. Although not many were able to levitate as well as Rowe, the more than 50 participants enjoyed the five-kilometre course, as well as the community barbecue. The event raised funds to renovate the bathrooms at the outdoor rink in Morewood.

Registration for the family friendly five-kilometre event was only $10 and the day also included a community barbecue, as well as music provided by Ottawa radio station Live 88.5.

This was an event that was a long time coming for Kapcala.

“This was an idea or vision that I had for many years. I’ve been on the fire department for two years now and I thought this was the best venue to reach out to the community and bring people together,” he said. “One of my main motivations in joining the fire department was helping the community and giving back. It’s just always been part of me and part of my motivation.”

Kapcala, a paramedic in Ottawa with 14 years service under his belt, always wanted to be a firefighter and credits his uncle with fostering that dream. Meeting fire chief Ken Byers and the rest of his team was enough to convince Kapcala to join the Morewood detachment.

The event was well organized and everyone was in high spirits before the run.

Byers, when asked for a comment, even as brief as three words, responded accordingly.

Firefighter Shannon Rowe led participants onto the course.

“No,” he said, adding, “You’re welcome.”

Three words. Byers must have been focused on the race although his slow start had many a bystander questioning his strategy.

The first to cross the finish line was Max Messervey. When asked what the secret was to his success, Messervey simply replied, “I ran.”

Max Messervey (right) got a high-five from organizer Mark Kapcala after being the first runner to cross the finish line.

Runners are a focused bunch.

Kapcala put his money on fellow firefighter Jason “the jungle cat” Lesage to cross the line first.

“He’s got the legs,” he said.

The jungle cat was nowhere to be seen amongst the top finishers. Perhaps he was distracted.

Kapcala also pointed out that the event enjoyed excellent community support, which ensured the event would be a success.

Kent Merkley was the second to cross the finish line. Merkley, no stranger to endurance running, usually goes for a five kilometre run at least once a week. Schoch Photos

“We were hoping to raise money to repair the outside bathroom at the skating rink so sponsorship is really what made this event happen,” he said.