At noon on New Year’s day, former members of the Nooners Jogging Club met up outside of the Rossland Museum for their annual S’no Fun Run.
The run started as a club activity in the ’80s, but continued on after the club dissolved and has taken place the first day of the new year ever since. But this time was different, because this time might be the last time.
The late Graham Kenyon, who passed away in April 2015, was the one who organized the annual event, and standing in the parking lot with nine other participants, Mel Johnson, who took on organizing the run this year, wasn’t sure that the event would continue without him.
Kenyon was a longtime employee of Cominco/Teck Metals Ltd. and an active member of the community who was passionate about the environment. He was also the one who always showed up for the S’no Fun Run with his wife Jill, every year.
“He would come to this event in his underwear and his top hat,” said Johnson.
“Or he’d come in a tuxedo,” added Barb Johnson, Mel’s wife.
Mel and Barb made it to most of the S’no Fun Runs as well.
“Great guy. Was the spirit of this run, kept it going for years and sadly missed,” Leigh Harrison said of Kenyon.
Harrison was an original member of the Nooners Jogging Club, which Kenyon started.
Kenyon was not the only runner missing this year.
Caroline Koban also passed away in 2015 and her husband Wolfgang Koban took part in this year’s run. It was Caroline who first got them involved with the S’no Fun Run, as they were not members of the Nooners club.
“One day Caroline said, ‘Hey let’s go on this thing,’ and off we went,” said Wolfgang. “I don’t know how she actually found out about it.”
That was was six years ago, and Wolfgang has now participated in the run four years, having missed a couple of years when his wife was ill. He said he really enjoys it.
The New Year’s day run has attracted as many as 20 people, but has had far fewer some years.
This year ten runners made their way up the Cascade Highway, going as far as weather and energy would permit and then turning around and heading out to the Rock Cut for the equally traditional post-run hangout.
There were hot drinks, Rickard’s Red, chicken wings and good conversation. Everyone drank a toast to Kenyon and Caroline.
In the midst of the camaraderie, Wolfgang asked, “Same time next year?”