For the first time since 2019, Run The Great Lakes - an annual fundraiser for ARCH and Sault Area Hospital Foundation - will be held in a back-to-normal, live in-person format Sunday, June 5.
It will be the 23rd Run The Great Lakes event.
“We did a virtual event in 2020. It was successful but it’s not really an activity so we’re excited to be back,” said Doug Richardson, run director.
“It feels good to be back because of the charities. We’ve gotten pretty close with them, especially ARCH. It’s a lot of work but it’s for a really good cause.”
Due to the pandemic, a live in-person event still wasn’t possible in 2021 and organizers opted not to go with another virtual run.
“Virtual was okay but we did it once and I think that people were getting a little tired with that.”
“We have a lot of great sponsors,” Richardson said.
“The run is already fully paid for from the sponsorships so we’re just looking for people to run, walk, jog, push a stroller, whatever. We added a little wrinkle this year, a challenge where a business can just register a team and then ideally challenge a similar business to get a number of their people out. We had a dental office reach out on Friday and I said a good idea would be to get hold of another couple of dental offices and say ‘we’re doing this, why don’t you do it too?’ It’s to drive numbers,” Richardson said.
Over $100,000 has been raised for ARCH and SAHF over the years as the event has grown.
The last live in-person run in 2019 included more than 500 participants and raised over $20,000.
“That was our biggest so we’re hoping this year can be bigger. We’ve got some more sponsors that have come onboard so we have more money up front, but the entries have been slow. It’s hard getting the word out again, that we’re back,” Richardson said.
The Run is open to all ages.
Northern Credit Union has come aboard to host the children’s one kilometre and two kilometre runs this year, Richardson said.
“They’re setting up some activities for them after the run, trying to get kids involved in being active.”
Participants can register for Run The Great Lakes by going to the event’s website or pay the entry fee at The Shoe Fits in Station Mall.
They can register any time, up to and including the day of the event at the scene of the run.
Entrance fees are $20 for children, $40 for adults.
Participants will get an event T-shirt but only if they register by Thursday evening.
There will be refreshments, food and some live music along the route.
Prizes are available for winners in different age categories.
The Run The Great Lakes event includes one and two kilometre runs for children, five and 10 kilometre runs for adults.
The five kilometre part of the Run starts out at The Delta, heads west along the boardwalk beside Station Mall, winds through the canal and heads back, while the 10 kilometre Run continues east toward the old SAH site before heading back to the Delta.
The one and two kilometre childrens’ Run starts at 9:15 a.m. June 5 while the five and 10 kilometre stretches begin at 10 a.m.
All funds raised through registration fees go to ARCH and SAHF.
“Everybody who does the run really enjoys it,” Richardson said.