It’s scenic on repeat — runners will take on a new looped route for the 33rd annual YMCA Spring Run on Sunday.
Five-kilometre loops on the east and west sides of Brandon will make up the new route that includes four city parks. Everyone will run together and only repeat the five-km stretches to their desired distance.
"Once they’re on the loop, they stay on it," said spring run chair Cindie Dunn. A new 15-km distance has been added to the five-, 10- and 20-km runs. Since the loops are an exact number, there will no longer be a half marathon as the longest run is 1.1. km off.
"We’ve certainly had people asking about the change, but the biggest reason we did it was runner safety," Dunn said.
The previous route, used for nine years, crossed more intersections and required runners to diverge more often.
The change means the Y Spring Run is no longer Timex sanctioned and no longer translates into running points for Athletics Manitoba.
Dunn said last year, only four of the 450 registered runners were taking part for points. Having a route measured and sanctioned costs upward of $6,000.
"For us, the cost didn’t make sense," Dunn said.
For the past three years an additional Timex sanctioned half marathon, the Royal Canadian Airforce Run, has been held in Winnipeg the same weekend. Dunn said half marathon registration has been decreasing in the last few years.
In 2011, 60 runners completed the half marathon and this year, 80 people are registered between the 15- and 20-km races.
Registered attendance is also staying on course — 485 people took part last year and close to 470 people are signed up for Sunday.
Registration for running events has closed, but people can sign up for the five- and 10-km fun runs and the one-kilometre family walk until race time.
Money raised from the event goes to the YMCA to support its services and summer camps for those in need.
More than 100 volunteers are registered to help out with marshalling and to provide entertainment at water stops along the run.
"We’ve got a real party atmosphere this year," said Lisa Demon, health fitness recreation assistant at the YMCA. Music and noise-makers will greet all as they come in for a pit stop.
On Sunday, the YMCA opens at 6:30 a.m. for warm-up, and the gun sounds at 8 a.m. for all runners. The family fun walk starts shortly after the major events, at 10:30 a.m.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 26, 2012