The rain didn’t stop any leprechauns from leaping to the finish line at the second annual St. Patrick’s Day Run on March 16.
Approximately 180 participants took part of the 5 km race, that began and looped back to the Coast Mountain College Terrace Campus.
“This is like a big city event here in Terrace, with all the partying going around,” says Joe Pelletier, organizer of the event and president of the Skeena Valley Runners. “It just works out really well to get people out… there are people here just walking it [too] and this may be their first walk or run of the year.”
The run was organized by Skeena Valley Runners as a way to help fundraise for the Caledonia Secondary School’s Cross-Country and Track & Field programs by donating 50 per cent of their profits.
Pelletier says it was also a way to encourage more people to run while having a good time. Runners of all ages and skill level came out wearing green to start off the St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
“Everyone’s dressing up in green, everyone is here for fun. We have a few runners here for running, but the key word is fun.”
Although many were running for the cheers and bells, there were a few serious faces trying to beat the clock.
Jamie Komandina, from Prince Rupert Runners and also the first-place women finisher of the event, says she came out to the race to cut off her time from last year’s run.
“I think I beat my time from last year by a couple of seconds, and I kind of wanted to win and I did so I’m very happy about that,” says Komandina, who is aiming to one day qualify for the Boston Marathon.
She says that the St. Patrick’s Day Run was thought out well with their hand-crafted wooden medals and having a safe race course marked off, which is an important feature when running outdoors.
“It’s been such a good turn-out, it’s fun and I think [the event] will keep snowballing in the years to come,” she says.
Pelletier says that since last year, the event has grown significantly. They now have about 40 volunteers and sponsors to help run the event, which has been a big part in getting more people lacing up their shoes.
He adds that the Skeena Valley Runners have been working together with Terrace Off Road Cycling Association (TORCA), as runners tend to often use the same trails they maintain for their biking members, and they want to contribute in some way in the future.
With warmer weather on its way and people looking to get into their spring sports, Pelletier says that running doesn’t need to be competitive and that it’s a great way to get to know the surrounding area.
“Running is a very addictive thing, it’s just about movement and getting out in nature. Once you do that, you just feel better and you could turn that into any aspect of your life. And that’s why we want to get people outdoors, challenging themselves and support the community that way.”
1. Fraser Bjornson — 18:28
2. Derek Flynn — 18:54
3. Danny McCreery — 20:40
4. Jamie Komandina — 22: 39
5. Brian Andrew — 22:51