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Nicole de Montbrun — November 1983

The toughest thing about walking away with a race is keeping your concentration on the course.

Tom Perry often found he was distracted along the 22 kilometre course but he cruised to an easy victory — as did the other 149 entrants participating in the October 2nd Refuse the Cruise Walk-a-thon.

In a bid to raise money to support Toronto’s peace movement, most of the participants sported well-worn running shoes and winning smiles. Ensured of success, the walkers (representing a variety of Toronto peace groups) good-naturedly limped the last kilometre.

There were no dropouts in this crowd. One elderly gentleman, when asked how he found the arduous trek, answered “I’ve been training every day for the past 8 months for an event like this — every morning I walk my dog.” When asked about his pronounced limp, he shrugged it off. “I’ll worry about it tomorrow.”

The event was successful — so successful that the walk-a-thon will probably be repeated in the spring or fall of next year, according to one of the co-ordinators, Joe Maheuts.

The $14,000 raised was distributed by the organisers, T.D.N. and the Cruise Missile Conversion Project. The earnings were allocated to several current disarmament projects: one third to the October 22 Campaign, another third to the November 11 actions, and the remaining third to the groups in the T.D.N.

As the last entrants reached the finish line, they were egged on as much by the knowledge of the money raised as by the promise of some ‘fringe benefits’: a free meal, folk music provided by Paul Kriwoy, Ken Whitely, Dave Graham and Bob Carty, and, most importantly, by the waiting Wendy Moore massage therapists, who kindly volunteered to massage those weary feet at the end of the trek.