The Hay River Road Runners Club will be taking off for a new challenge this weekend with a five-kilometre fun run at Alexandra Falls.
“It’s all about building community and being active,” said Emma Harper, recreation programmer for the municipality. “That’s why we started the run club in the first place – to give people a chance to get together and be active together.”
The run, set for Saturday, July 12, is open to runners of all levels and though it will be timed, Harper said the atmosphere will be far from competitive. The idea was to create a mid-season event to help keep people motivated after this spring’s successful running clinics.
“There’s no real organized run club this year,” said Harper, instead pointing to the Road Runners’ Facebook group where people post when they’re going to be out for a run and invite others to join them.
“It’s a bit more casual this year, but we wanted to have an event to bring everyone together and help them get re-motivated if they need it.”
The location out at the falls is also part of the plan to boost runners’ enthusiasm. Harper said the run will be held at the territorial park because of the beautiful scenery, which she says she hopes will be motivating. Participants are also invited to bring brunch-type foods to have a bit of a picnic afterwards if they so choose.
“The whole point is just to get up and get out,” said Anne-Marie Bourgeois, co-organizer for the fun run. “People get caught up in thinking that they’re not as fast as other people, but the whole point is to celebrate that you’re out and being active.”
Bourgeois agreed the timing would be good to give runners a bit of an extra boost and added that the change of location would also add to the impact.
“We all need a change of scenery and routine sometimes,” she said. “This will be a great event for just that.”
Both Harper and Bourgeois noted that the run would also make for a great training opportunity for upcoming local events like the Terry Fox Run and triathlon, both set for Sept. 14. All events are free to enter and open to anyone willing to make the effort, though Harper noted that the triathlon would be more challenging.
“I think everything should be accessible to everyone,” she said. “Everyone should be as physically active as possible, so events like these are great for that.”