Sometimes the stars align and you have an absolutely perfect weekend in your small town. Such was the weekend of June 21 in Mayo, our town of roughly 475 people.
As has been the case for the last 19 summers, the Fly By Night Running Club organized the annual marathon which serves as a venue for serious marathoners through to five-kilometre walkers.
This year the marathon weekend coincided with our high school graduation. Friday was devoted to our school with their awards then cap-and-gown ceremony and dinner for our six high school graduates. It is the time when we sit together and appreciate how it takes a community to raise a child.
On Saturday the Village of Mayo sponsored Arts in the Park. The First Nation of Na Cho Nyak Dun joined the fun in the park, hosting a fashion show with local models proudly displaying beautiful beading and sewing. As well, they had art and history exhibits. The Stewart Valley Community Market was also there with homemade products, baked goodies and of course great coffee. Galena Park vibrated with music, culture, arts and food.
Saturday evening the family, friends and supporters of marathoners were honoured at a barbecue, and then the marathon began. We hosted 144 runners for the event which ends around midnight. There was also an annual solstice party in Keno City for those who had not had quite enough activity for a solstice weekend.
On Sunday we treated the runners to our glorious homemade brunch where we announced the winners and gave prizes. Needless to say, none of this could have been done without the little town at the heart of the Yukon’s volunteers. Well over 80 local people roll up their sleeves for this weekend: they cut the grass, put up tents, perform, and help with registration, water stations, cooking, baking and hosting.
When it is all said and done and the chairs and tables are put away after the Sunday brunch and we wave an exhausted goodbye to our guests there is a satisfied glow in the air. Once again we have showcased our town and have reason to be proud.
As a marathon organizer, all I can say is thank you citizens of Mayo for everything that you are and for your continued support and assistance in making our solstice weekend something to be envied. Thank you to the Village of Mayo, the First Nation of Na Cho Nyak Dun, the Stewart Valley Community Market, as well as the Fly By Night Running Club for working together to make this weekend happen.
Next year, on the weekend of June 20, 2015 we will be hosting the 20th anniversary of the Mayo Midnight Marathon and, starting now, we are inviting everyone who has ever participated, be it as volunteer, supporter or runner, to join us for another amazing weekend under the midnight sun.
President, Fly By Night