"When I was younger I was diagnosed with asthma. It wasn’t a big surprise. I’d be out of breath and wheezing with any physical activity. Sports really reduced my symptoms. Doctors advised me not to trigger it – but I can confidently say running cured me. By the time I was 16, I had no asthma whatsoever, no sign of it – and I know it was because of running.
I tried a lot of different sports, but they were all related to running, so I stuck with the running part. I started really young. I remember my Dad (he’s a runner) going for his runs. I watched him run his first race in Quebec. I was only 4, but I remember the medal. It piqued my interest.
Running is my favourite drug now. I love the endorphin boost. I definitely get the runner’s high – the good feeling is the reason it stuck. I try to run as much as I can even if I’m busy. Sometimes I have to force myself a little bit, especially in winter, but then I feel good after – sometimes those times when you have to force yourself are the best runs you have.
This summer I did the Rainbow race with my Mom. It was my first race with her. It was a beautiful moment. She spent pride week with me, just accepting everything about it. We ran together, people were cheering at us the whole way. The fact that my Mom was there – I didn’t want it to be over, I was even more proud. My Mom had a blast, there’s a picture of us, you can see her smiling ear to ear. It’s one of the highlights of my whole running life.
I consider myself an LGBTQ+ activist, and I'm involved in the community. I consider myself lucky after watching my friends around me – it can be a totally different story – not just from their communities but even from their parents. Not everyone is totally accepting.
I’m very active with Halifax Pride, so the fact that the Rainbow race was organized by NER meant a lot. Two different groups came together for one purpose – running during pride – it really showed me how everyone in the crew is so diverse and open.
There are so many beautiful souls to meet at NER. It’s really a community where you can make connections. The people I’ve met – it’s crazy, I was not expecting it. People have become friends I see outside of running. The crew is for everyone. Everyone should try it once.
We’re so different and diverse, but we run together, that’s what unites us."
Follow Daryl's passion for running and his wanderlust for life @durrellross