Sports

Strathmore Run Club preps for Off The Rails Run

By Monique Massiah, Strathmore Standard

The Strathmore Run Club’s Off The Rails 5 K Run, is growing by the minute, as of March 9 there were over 500 participants who had registered for the race.

 

The race will be held on June 3, which coincides with National Health and Fitness Day, an initiative geared towards making Canada the fittest nation on earth.

“t’s basically just trying to get anybody to become active and to get out. We want families, we want grandparents, we want kids, schools, strollers and we want babies,” said Kelly Yorston, race director, from the Strathmore Run Club.

She explained that the aim is to get the community active.

“People are allowed to walk it, they are allowed to bring their strollers any way that assists a family in being able to make it around the 5K loop,” she said.

On race day check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m. the race will start at 9 a.m.

The race begins at Kinsmen Lake and circles Grey Park and finishes after a loop of the lake. There will be race marshals along the route at road crossings and turns.

Families are encouraged to run the 5km race together no matter if you run, walk or push your stroller.

“We just want families to come out and to be active,” said Yorston.

The way the trophy point system for schools works, is that every that registers and is associated with a local school receives one point. At the end, organizers tally up the points and the trophy is awarded to the school with the most active families.

“If there’s parents bringing their kids, the parents get points as well. If there’s grandparents who are part of that family, they get points as well,” said Yorston.

A trophy will be awarded to the school who has the most participants, and every runner will receive medals and grab bags. A number of traditional awards will be handed out, but also fun awards for example, for best costume that reflects the race theme, or the fastest stroller pusher.

The theme for the Off The Rails Run this year is Canada’s 150th anniversary.

Organizers are still looking for volunteers. Volunteers will get points for their schools as well, if they are unable to race.

Initially the town of Strathmore sponsored 300 medals for participants of the free running event. That number was surpassed in a matter of two days.

Thanks to a sponsorship donation from Dr. Benjamin Sader, of $1,000, the run was able to open up space for 500 registrants.

When the club hosted the race last year, there were approximately 100 registrants and about 70 participants that finished the race.

This year, the large number of registrants is certainly surprising for organizers.

Because of the high number of participants, in order to ensure everyone is able to enjoy the race and be rewarded with a medal of completion at the end, the race is in need of additional sponsors.

In a matter of days the number of registrants for the race grew from approximately 300 to 500 individuals.

“Within 48 hours before even the emails out to the schools had really got out and the teachers had even sent it, it sold out all 300 spots,” Yorston said.

Organizers would appreciate any form of financial support possible from the local business community, so that everyone who participates in the race can be rewarded for their achievement.

One of the attractions of the this race is that it’s a free 5K race, explained Yorston. She noted that participating in a race may be difficult in the present economy.

“For a typical 5K race anywhere else that you’re going to find it’s $50 to $60, so to be able to come out and do this, they get a grab bag, they get a medal there’s going to be food along the way and refreshments. You don’t typically see that ever happen,” she said.

Yorston also said that as a racer herself she can also see how some people like to run races just to win a medal at the end, and to have a personal keepsake for their achievement. That, and the face that participation in the Strathmore Run Club has also grown exponentially this year.

Fore more information about the Off The Rails 5K Run please visit the Strathmore Run Club online at runstrathmore.ca, check out the club on Facebook, or search for the Off The Rails Run on Eventbrite.