Pandemic friendly trail run series expands
As sporting events were cancelled one after another due to the pandemic a Creemore runner started kicking around the idea of how to hold an event that wouldn’t require any gatherings.
Kathy Webber was looking forward to several events that she had signed up for last year and had already put in a good deal of training.
“I started looking at virtual runs to do to try to keep my spirits up,” said Webber.
Then she wondered, how hard it would be to host an event of her own?
A self proclaimed lover of beer, Webber said she imagined a race where the course was completed on the runner’s own time but the brewery could serve as the finish line. That way everyone would be distanced and safe, avoiding crowds at the start and finish.
Creemore Springs Brewery came on as a partner, distributing race kits and two free beers to each participant.
The event was a sell-out at 100 participants and has inspired Webber to expand the idea into a new North of 89 trail series with four races: Hoppin’ into Summer with Quayle’s Brewery in Oro-Medonte (run any time between June 15 and July 31); Rocks and Cider with Thornbury Village Craft Beer and Cidery (from August 1 to Sept. 15); The Long Run at Dufferin Forest in partnership with Creemore Springs Brewery (from August 1 to Sept. 15); and Beer Barrens with Clear Lake Brewing and Muskoka Beer Spa (from Sept. 16 to Oct. 31.)
The format, said Webber, works well for people who want to set their own schedule and visit the breweries outside of peak times, giving people maximum flexibility but offering a unifying experience.
“I want it to be fun,” she said. “For 2021 I wanted to ensure that it’s Canadian content to support Canadian businesses as much as possible. I want to support people’s physical and mental health by being outside on the trails and I really just want people to have a good time – the kind of fun that we can have right now as opposed to having in-person events.”
Each race offers varying distances and participants will pick up their race kits at the breweries during the time frame provided containing a buff, medal, and a sampling of the local brews, hopefully served on the spacious patio if public health protocols allow. The fee also includes a donation/fees for the organizations that maintain the trails.
Participants post their times and a winner is declared.
Early bird registration is open now. Individual races cost $45 or register for the whole series and get a five per cent discount, plus the choice of a free hat or a free shirt. Webber said all the swag is being made in Canada.
For more information and to register, visit n89.ca.