|The Ken Owen Award
The Ken Owen Award
The Ken Owen Award is presented annually to the Team Orca member voted most inspirational by his or her teammates. The award was created by Mike Bourcier and Michele Levesque to commemorate Ken Owen (pictured to the right), a long-time member of Team Orca who passed away in 2005. Ken was a great friend to Team Orca, and loved running, triathlons, and the camaraderie of his running friends.
The recipient of this award is chosen for his or her "INSPIRATION" to other members of ORCA. The criteria for the award is that it is to be given to the person who, through his/her dedication, tenacity, comeback, etc has been an inspiration to us all.
For more photos of Ken and award recipients, please see our Ken Owen Photo album.
2009 Winner/ Rhys Harrison (presented by Rod Bailey and Annette Owen, Ken’s wife)
Over the past number of years this individual has contributed a lot to the running community in Oceanside. The choice for this year's most inspirational Orca and the recipient of the Ken Owen Award is Rhys Harrison.
What differentiates this particular Orca member is his leadership. He has been a role model for others and has persevered through lots of challenges and encourages others to do the same.
Many have benefited from his knowledge probably without having known that Rhys was correcting form or efficiency or motivating them toward a goal. He provides gentle cueing and reminders of form in a considerate and complimentary way.
His dedication and love of the sport is inspiring. Who doesn't want to be like Rhys training for marathon after marathon but what is really inspiring is how he is always so willing to share his vast knowledge of running with anyone.
Rhys was instrumental in providing training and assistance for the 2009 RVM and Nike races. In addition to providing personal assistance, Rhys took it one step further in creating a question and answer format on the Orca website that was in turn helpful to all members.
He also assisted the newly formed race committee by sharing his expertise in race organization with them. Many of you may not know that Rhys was a race director for the Oceanside 10K for many years.
Running with Rhys isn't just about form and speed. He has a huge appreciation for nature and has introduced many Orca members to the bobbing American Dippers in the Qualicum River and the Wood Ducks in the trails of Fairwinds.
2008 Winner/ David Beatty
This year's recipient is David Beatty. David is one of the original Orca members, and a person who promoted the joy of running in Oceanside long before the idea of ORCA club was even hatched. His Sunday runs have been a long standing tradition for community runners. No runner, no matter how slow their pace, is left behind on a Sunday run.
David's famous "loop" echoes through the trails of the beautiful and interesting runs he selects each week. David, along with Heather, his wife and running partner, open their warm home for delicious brunches and lively conversation many weekends.
Following are some of the comments recieved by club members with regards to this year's recipient:
"David's dedication and enthusiasm has kept many a runner going over the years."
"David has a very inclusive attitude to making the Sunday runs a fun experience for all."
Ken was present at most Sunday runs, not necessarily running, but often biking.
Ken would be very happy to know that David was receiving this award, not only because Ken was a dear friend of David's, but because David represents everything that Ken beleived in: camaraderie, encouragement, dedication and tenacity.
2007 Winner/ Kim Longmuir (presented by Brenda Light and Annette Owen, Ken’s wife)
The recipient of this year's Ken Owen award for most inspirational orca goes to one of the original ORCA members, Kim Longmuir. Kim was a very dear friend of Ken's, he would quite often show up at Kim's for a cup of tea. Kim has been a very dedicated member of ORCA, always organizing, keeping the membership in order, keeping everyone informed, keeping and storing all the club equipment, a lady of many hats. In the early years of team orca Kim looked after all the positions in the executive herself, a large task which she did with love and pride.
As the award says, "someone who is an inspiration to other ORCA members", Kim fills its role with both running shoes. She knows everyone in the club by name and runs with all levels of runners, inspiring them to pace themselves, they can do it, but they are important. Kim is a very patient person is shown by her ability to guide new runners from first steps to running their first 10K or even a first half marathon. Through her "Ready Set Run Program", Kim has shared her love of running with many new runners, giving very explicit instructions on how much do and not do. Her dedication to these runners was very evident when a group of them showed up for their first half marathon with T-shirts with the text, "Team Kim Says".
2006 Winner/ Laurie Ritchie (presented by Kim Longmuir and Annette Owen, Ken’s wife)
The recipient of this year’s Ken Owen Award for the Most Inspirational Orca goes to one of the original Orca members, Laurie Ritchie. What is especially nice is that Laurie was a very good friend of Ken’s, so Ken would be thrilled to see her receiving the award. Laurie has been a dedicated and very involved Orca member from Orca’s beginning in 1998. She helps with coaching, phoning, clinics and events.
Although all of the above qualities are all very much appreciated, Laurie was selected for the inspiration she gives to others. As you all know, Laurie is a talented and “fast” runner, but she is willing to run at any pace to support other club members. There is no pace too slow for Laurie. She checks up on people if you don’t show up for a run and has even been known to recruit new members on the run!
I would like to read some of the comments people made about Laurie.
“I think her dedication to our training program is an inspiration to all of us.”
“Laurie truly cares about the people she runs with and genuinely wants them to succeed.”
“Apart from the professionalism and discipline which she applies to the front runners, Laurie has helped create a club identity by showing consideration and caring for those that like to chug along. This is at the heart of our club philosophy and what makes us Orcas.”
Congratulations to you, Laurie! Ken would be so happy to see you receiving this award.
2005 Winner/ Teresa Klemm (presented by Kim Longmuir and Annette Owen, Ken’s wife)
The recipient of this year’s Ken Owen Most Inspirational Orca Award, Teresa Klemm, would make our friend, Ken, smile from ear to ear, as this person’s motto was the same as Ken’s, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Teresa battled serious health issues over many years and never once lost her determination to get better. She consistently puts others ahead of herself, motivating and inspiring many new Orca members. Teresa takes runners under her wing, and will run at their pace to encourage them and keep them coming back for more.
One personal memory I have of Teresa is the first time she joined us on a grueling Top Bridge run. When I saw that she was struggling, I asked her if she wanted to walk a bit. “No way! I am going to finish this run!” She did, and with a big smile!
Teresa is one of the kindest, caring, compassionate people you will ever meet, and once she knows you love to run, look out!
2006 Note about Teresa! Teresa completed her first marathon, finishing the Royal Victoria Marathon in October, in just over 5 hours.
A note from Ken's son, Murray
Thanks for the remembrance of my father with the award and his memory on your web site. I have many fond memories of his events and participation with the Orca Running Club. And, in some way, they are continuing with this award.
Ken kept an accurate log of all his event and achievements. Since the award is inspirational, the log in some ways is measurement his inspiration and accomplishments, as well as realization of his goals. Is it, as I look at it now, milestones in his life. I too wish I had a performance log that looked like this post 50 years of age! Possibly, I will some day. But, for now, they can inspire other to be better then they are.
For my dad, it gave him more then just personal best on a time sheet. These goals gave him a zest for life and people, regardless of their status. It put a smile on his face that he share daily with us, and motivated some of us to be better then we are. Perhaps, it is where he got his seemly boundless energy from at 75. A vigor for life that he enabled him to serve his neighbor when need crossed his path. In the big snowstorm of Christmas 1996, I watch my dad shoveling out the neighbors driveways into the winters twilight evening. It was typical of him.
You can view his log, newspaper clippings and many photos here