A memory lasts a lifetime.
For Dino Marino and his family, making memories is what the Manitoba Marathon is all about.
"Nobody can ever take those away," said Dino, moments after crossing the finish line at Investors Group Field, where he and his family are Winnipeg Blue Bombers season ticket holders.
"That’s what it’s about and this is a great one today. Coming onto the field where you watch your team play every week is really, really exciting. It gives you a better sense of accomplishment. It’s the field where (quarterback Matt) Nichols and (running back Andrew) Harris play. It’s pretty exciting knowing you’re in that league for a moment."
Dino, his wife Liz, and their children Serena, 19, and Bryce, 17, all took part in the marathon Sunday. The parents ran the 10k, while their kids ran the half marathon. Their eldest son Mason, 22, did not run this year, although he has in the past.
For the Marino family, the event isn’t about how fast you run, it’s about making memories and being healthy.
They’ve participated in the Manitoba Marathon for a number of years, all thanks to Dino’s youngest son Bryce.
"It’s father’s day, it’s my day, but a number of years ago he said ‘How about I go with another dad?’ And I thought to myself, 'that’s not happening.' So here I am and I really enjoy the fact that I get out with my kids and spend this time with them. They’ll remember this," Dino said.
Memories are important to Dino, who lost his father from a heart attack at the age of 19.
The things he didn’t get the chance to do with his own dad, he tries to do with his kids.
"I lost my dad at a very young age," said Dino, tearing up. "So I didn’t get the chance to do those things with him. By the time I realized how important that was, he was gone. But my kids will carry this on. They’ll do this and hopefully will continue to with their own kids down the line. It may not mean a whole lot to them right now, but as we grow older it does."
Dino says he’s been a Blue Bombers fan his whole life and quarterback Matt Nichols is one of his favourite players.
Having the finish line on the same turf he watches his favourite athletes play on each week during the Canadian Football League season, just adds to the experience he looks forward to every year.
His family sits in section 130, row 5, on the 53-yard line. But Sunday they were on the field, not watching the action from the stands.
Manitoba Marathon organizers hoped the change of the finish line – the first time it has been moved in more than 30 years – would mean a lot to participants.
"I think this experience is hard to describe," said Rachel Munday, executive director of the Manitoba Marathon. "It’s a world-class facility. This building is made for events like this. For the runners to come onto this field and see themselves on the big screen, I think it’s almost overwhelming."
Crossing onto the field with his wife is a memory Dino says he won't ever forget, and having his daughter and son follow soon after only sweetens the experience.
"It’s all about making memories and this is a great one today," said Dino. "We’re doing this to support our kids and stay healthy. I know my kids are going to have a healthier life because of this. I always say to them, make memories because no one can take those away from you. Cherish them. And after this, we’re off for a big breakfast together."