Members of the community will have a chance to run for those they love or in memory of a loved one.
The annual Run with Heart charity run is back for its fourth year on Oct. 14th and is open to those of all ages.
“It started off as an in-house operation for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. It’s since gone to be a third party, 100 per cent volunteer run event by myself and two other individuals in the City,” said Karen Jackman, volunteer race director.
They will continue to fundraise for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and this year have also offered it out to other charities within the community so they could introduce it to other groups and organizations, but also to help grow the event as well, giving back to other organizations in the community.
“This year, along with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, we will be supporting Vantage Community Services,” she said.
The run is a fun run, open to those of all abilities.
“We just really encourage families to get out there, to be active and live healthy lives, and do it as a family.”
Jackman said they encourage everyone to come out from eight months old to 80 years old.
“We do offer a 5 km run as well as a 10 km run. Walkers are also welcome to join.”
She said they ask anybody over the age of 12 to register as a participant through the Running Room’s web site, however kids under 12 don’t need to register and can participate with a donation of any amount.
“They can register right up until the night before the run. We will also take registrations at the event on race day,” said Jackman.
The very first year of the run saw just over $10,000 raised, with $36,000 raised in total over the last three years.
She said what’s unique about this particular run is that it takes place at 7 p.m. so they add a glow aspect to the run.
“We ask everyone to come out in their funnest glow gear, whether it be glow in the dark bracelets or headbands. We’ve had everything from flashing tutus to bright socks. You name it, they’ve worn it,” she said, adding that they encourage everyone to have as much fun with that as possible, as they give prizes out for best dressed.
The run will start on the corner of 19th St. and Gaetz Avenue South, kitty corner to the south Second Cup. Participants will then take the Red Deer trail system through the Bower residential area, behind and up to Bower Mall.
Although the run begins at 7 p.m. people are encouraged to come a few minutes early for the warm-up.
The 10 km runners will do the exact same route as the 5 km, but will repeat it.
Jackman said the run started off as a family event, but didn’t have as many young kids come out, but that’s since changed.
“We have kids as young as three and four-years-old. My son is nine now and he’s ran it the last three years. We also have the kids that are high school and university aged, right up to moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas.”
She said everyone does the runs for their own reasons, whether it’s to come out and have fun with their friends or to support the causes they choose.
“They may be running in memory of somebody or in honour of a family member that’s either been affected by mental health issues, a heart attack, stroke or whatever it may be.”
Registration for the run is $50.
With the Running Room being the main sponsor, people can register on their web site at www.events.runningroom.com.
Those interested in sponsorship opportunities or who have any questions can email firstname.lastname@example.org.