It’s 1918 and I’m racing at the Canadian Corps Dominion Day Celebrations. I’m at the starting point surrounded by people like me trying to go for gold. The gun sounds and we’re off!
The sound of the gun reminds me of the war. I can see the shooting of this horrifying war we’re living through. I can see my friends falling to the ground. Blood gushing out of their chests. I can see the fear in the enemy’s eyes as they try to get away.
I shake it off and try to bring my attention back to the race. I’m in fourth place. I look behind me I can see people scurrying around, trying to take the lead like rats in the trenches on a rainy day. I feel chills running through my body as the hair on my neck stands up.
By this point I’m around the 3-mile mark as I hear two Quebecois runners next to me speaking French to each other. Suddenly, I’m back in France. I’m running between units on the front line. I fall to the ground in pain. I can hear someone declaring me dead. I try to speak up but no words are coming out of my mouth. Next thing I know I’m in a hospital bed.
I bring myself back to the race. I’m in second place and I’m starting to feel faint. I grab my canteen of water. The next thing I know the canteen is empty and I feel like I’m going to vomit. I’m back in France again. I’m lugging equipment that feels like it weighs a ton. It probably does. I try to get those horrible thoughts out of my head by focusing on the race.
I look around. I can’t stop or everyone will pass me by. There are about 1 or 2 miles left in the race and I’m now in first place! I can see the finish line ahead! I look behind me and now I know I’m going to win! And I won! If only winning the war was this easy.
More About Longboat:
- He was born June 4 1887 in a Six Nations Reserve near Brantford, Ontario.
- He died January 9 1949 also in the Six Nations Reserve.
- His Native name is Cogwagee.
- He is one of the top ten Canadians of all time.
- And last but not least he is in the Canadian sports hall of fame and the Indian hall of fame.