Police officer runs Fredericton marathon in memory of fallen officers
Thousands hit the pavement for the 41st Fredericton Marathon on Sunday. But one runner in particular stood out from the crowd.
Clad in full police uniform, Weyburn, Saskatchewan Police Constable Jeff Bartsch was impossible to miss amid the group of runners.
It wasn’t his first run, but Constable Bartsch says it was one he will never forget.
“I’ve been in Saskatchewan, down in California last year in April, but this one down here is by far the most memorable so far,” said Cst. Bartsch.
Cst. Bartsch ran the 10k in memory of fallen Fredericton police officers Robb Costello and Sara Burns, both killed in last August’s shooting.
It was less than a year ago that four people were fatally shot in Fredericton; civilians Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright and officers Costello and Burns. The community is still healing from the tragedy, which made Cst. Bartsch’s presence all the more appreciated by runners and spectators alike.
“It was so appropriate to see him there, people were encouraging him,” said race director Bruce McFarlane. “He was in full uniform- he had sneaks, not police shoes on- but it was just great to see and it’s great to think of those two officers that served this community with so much pride.”
Cst. Bartsch became close friends with Cst. Sara Burns while both were attending the Atlantic Police Academy in Prince Edward Island.
“She way a very fun person, very ecstatic, always joking around and had fun, but was able to be serious when we had to,” remembers Cst. Bartsch. “It was kind of line a den mother to all of us, she always made sure we were all where we were supposed to be, and it was really good to get to know her, it felt like someone I’ve known my whole life.”
Bartsch says his journey to the finish line was an emotional one.
“To put running for me, along with this special event here, there’s a lot of emotions being back in Fredericton for this event." said Bartsch.
A run to remember the courage and sacrifice made, by two of Fredericton’s finest.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Lyall.