Crystal Beach event a sign of thriving community

By Kris Dubé, Fort Erie Times/Niagara Advance

Most people don’t know this about me – but I’m what could be considered an above-average power-walker.


 I participated this year's 12th annual Crystal Beach five-kilometre Run and Walk , an event I have covered numerous times over the years  as a reporter for the Fort Erie Times.

What makes breaking my personal record of longest distance travelled on foot special during this local event, is that it’s held directly outside my front window – literally.

Formerly a lifelong resident of Ward 2, I moved to Crystal Beach last month into an apartment on Derby Road, commonly known as ‘Hot Dog Alley,’ a nickname the street was given during the glory days of the amusement park.

It’s a great area that is steadily growing back into the thriving part of town it used to be and the Crystal Beach 5K is a perfect opportunity to show off some of the progress.

There are little businesses, cool residential units like mine, young hardworking professionals and much more popping up all over the place.

It makes me reflect back to a time when a 12-storey condo development nearly caused riots (not really) and people who lived in the opposite end of town (including me) regularly opined about the project being a catalyst for success and growth for the waterfront community.

Thinking more about it and living here for the last few weeks – I might have to officially retract some of the opinions 26-year-old me shared in my editorials on possibly a too-regular basis.

Other than major issues surrounding a lack of parking, current and soon-to-be business owners should keep doing what they’re doing – keeping the fabric of the area intact and allow it to continue improving.

These are all things I’ve thought since moving to the neighbourhood but definitely told myself I needed to include in this column.

The other thing I knew should be addressed is a warning to anyone thinking about entering next year – don’t wear Vans deck shoes on a five-kilometre walk if you’re not used to it.

I woke up the next day and felt like I would sometimes after a night of dancing at the Palmwood on a summer Saturday in 2006…stiff shins with a side of regret.

Aside from that, it’s a great event I’ve always enjoyed supporting with news coverage but it was rewarding this time because I earned a medal. I haven’t seen the official results but I’m pretty sure I cracked the top 500, which is a dream come true that I never would have expected.

It was such an accomplishment that I treated myself to two beers at the post-event party.

I felt I deserved it.


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