Five Islands man to run 50 kilometres in support of outdoor rink
FIVE ISLANDS - This community's outdoor rink holds many memories for Wade Eagles and he plans to do something special to help out.
Eagles, 41, is lacing up his sneakers on Saturday to run 50 kilometres to raise money for the rink.
"I learned to skate here when I was about four years old," said Eagles, when asked why he wanted to support the project.
"My dad was also a big part of this. It's something I really wanted to do."
Over the past four-and-a-half years, Eagles has been training and this will be his first time running such a long distance.
"I really want to test myself. I want to see what I can do."
Starting at 8 a.m., Eagles will run from the Glenholme Auto Salvage to the outdoor rink - come rain or shine.
"I would like to do this in seven hours, but if I don't, I don't," said Eagles, who grew up in Five Islands. "It's not the end of the world."
Eagles has a goal of raising $1,000 for the rink, and he already generated plenty of support.
"I've been getting sponsors from $5 to $100. Anyone we have approached, they really can't do enough for us. I'm shooting for $1,000, but I think we're already past that," he said.
The outdoor rink was built in the 1970s, but fell into a state of disrepair in recent years. A group of area residents has been working since last fall to get the rink back up and running.
"Last winter, I think I was on the rink weekly," said Eagles. "But my two daughters, who are 17 and 13, were on it quite a bit. It was very seldom that we would come by at night and it wasn't being used."
Eagles and Robert Lattie, who is helping him with his run, said they were happy last winter to see people of all ages using the rink, including local businessman Toby Beal, who is now about 70.
"I remember watching him playing on here," added Eagles. "I used to stand to the side and watch him. We all have a lot of memories here."
The rink has undergone a facelift since the end of last winter. The old boards were torn down,and John Webster of Bible Hill took down and built up the base work. Duracon poured the cement for the concrete slab and the slab has since been sealed.
"Wade's money will go towards new boards, and it's about $4,000 for boards," said Lattie. "We've also done some work on our pond."
Off to the side of the rink is a small pond the volunteers use to flood the ice. Erosion was bringing the pond too close to the concrete slab and boards, so the volunteers drained the pond and installed a wall, as well as rocks.
"We're very proud of the rink," said Eagles. "We've spend a lot of time and done a lot of work, but the support we've gotten from the public has really been something else."
During Eagles' run, a crew travelling with him will also be collecting any pledges from residents along the route.
For more information or to make a pledge, contact Eagles at (902) 254-2193.