Runners take off at the 6th annual SalmonRun June 29.

Runners take off at the 6th annual SalmonRun June 29.

Sixth annual SalmonRun attracts hundreds of runners

Over 350 participants turned out for the event June 29 at Kitsumkalum

The sixth annual SalmonRun took place Sunday, June 29 at Kitsumkalum, with over 350 participants turning out for the race.

Participants ran or walked the two, five or 10 kilometre route, then gathered for a salmon BBQ.

“It was amazing,” said organizer Colleen Austin. “We had over 100 volunteers this year and I was really impressed with the high turnout of people of varying ages and from all over the area.”

Also impressive was the number of families who have been running the entire six years of the race, she said.

“So many families involved this year,” she said, noting that a number of participants decided to train this year instead of just winging it the day of the race. “It was incredible.”

The SalmonRun was started as a way to promote healthy living and lifestyle choices, and has grown and become more successful every year, she said, noting this was the first year the event came out in the black following a number of corporate sponsorships.

Students and staff at the Kitsumkalum school ‘Na Aksa Gila Kyew Learning Centre where Austin is principal, and community members and supporters host and organize the race.

The race, which is open to all ages and skill levels, began after Austin took some of her students to the Vancouver Sun Run in 2007, and students mentioned they wished they could have a similar race close to town so their families could understand how great it feels to race.

One standout team this year, in memory of James Vickers, boasted 37 family members – up from 12 in 2012.

And another standout participant was the oldest pre-registered racer, Doris Gorrell, 77, who finished her five kilometre race in a faster time than she did last year.

For full results of the race, visit