Nearly 700 runners participated in this year’s YMCA Spring Run, an event that grows bigger each year.
"We’ve grown considerably in the last years, which is awesome," said YMCA health and fitness director Cindie Dunn while runners were still triumphantly crossing the finish line on Eighth Street on Sunday.
The event, now in its 35th year, had a record-breaking 687 registered participants. They also added a relay run this year with a few participants, but it’s something organizers would like to see grow.
"We only had three relay teams this year, but we’re really hoping to promote it," she said.
More than 10 school groups with more than 200 runners participated in the event, including a 63-person group from Dauphin.
"We had a few groups from Dauphin, we have some that will travel from Saskatchewan and one lady all the way from Toronto," she said. "And we have in the past had people from coast to coast come participate."
The landscape at the start and finish line is also a little different this year with the old YMCA building now levelled — a piece of land which will soon be transformed into a parking lot and green space.
Dunn said organizers hoped to have the park opened by race day, but construction delays pushed its completion date closer to the end of summer.
The race which consists of two five-kilometre loops has remained similar in recent years and Dunn said there’s no plan to change it up.
"We have no plans to change the race route," she said. "It runs very smoothly and our goal is just growing it bigger and doing what we’re already doing, only better."
The event traditionally raises about $16,000 per year — money that goes to the Y’s Strong Kids Campaign which provides access to the Y to children who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it.
"The Strong Kids Campaign is a much stronger force with the dollars coming in, but the event continues to grow and with such strong sponsorship, we hope it’ll continue to grow," Dunn said.
Ryan Lamont came in first place in the 10-kilometre event with a time of 37 minutes and nine seconds; Kevin Enns led the 15-km race with a time of 1:14:10; and in the 20-km event, Thomas Eros took top spot with a time of 1:27:43.
In the five-kilometre race, Drew Barclay won the men’s/boy’s nine-and-under age group event in 25:07; Burke Erickson in the 10-14 in 20:52; Riley Peyachew in the 15-19 in 19:14; Eric Henderson in the 20-29 in 17:46; Sean Wojnarski in the 30-39 in 21:38; Rainer Schira in the 40-49 in 24:13; Gary McNeely in the 50-59 in 22:34; and Ken Gibb, the only participant in the 60-69 age category, finished in 34:37.
On the women’s side, Madelyn Bootsman won the nine-and-under category in 32:50; Jordyn Erickson in the 10-14 in 24:51; Sophie Harasymchuk in the 15-19 in 22:37; Tessa Geurts in the 20-29 in 22:32; Hollie Wells in the 30-39 in 24:01; Karen Woodrow in the 40-49 in 24:07; and Jill Gray in the 50-59 in 27:27.
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