Every year for 22 years in rather unpredictable spring weather at the beginning of April, Beaches residents participate in the annual Spring Sprint. Held rain, shine, snow, or sleet, the event was only once delayed a week because of an ice storm!
“It’s become a tradition for many families, year after year,” long-time volunteer Joann Knox explains. There is no age limit and no one wants to miss it. Whether it means running with a baby in a stroller or a senior walking at 80 years old, it is truly an event for everyone.
Another long-time volunteer, Frank Domagala remembers when the first race only had 10 runners, with more volunteers than participants. Today the “Sprint” boasts over 700 men, women, youth and children, with 100 volunteers. The event attracts various celebrities, including former Olympians such as Bruce Kidd.
Frank’s father, Gene, was also present at the first Spring Sprint. Both recall how the event has gone through different locations, various starting points and interesting names, such as the “Numb Bum Run” and “Fun Run.”
“It’s a real jewel of the community,” explains Joann Knox, a member of the original advisory committee. “Our run could have been taken over by a corpora-tion and become a really big run, but instead, it has stayed a community event. All sponsors are targeted to local businesses.“
Volunteers such as Joann, Gene and Frank have never missed the Spring Sprint; they are at the event every year.
Loyalty to the Spring Sprint is probably best summed up by David Breech from Eagle Beaver Sports. Even after his company moved away from the Beach community, Dave continues to play a major part, helping with the organization of the presentations, prizes and after-party.
And the best thing about the run? There is great excitement about who will cross the finish line first, but it really is all about the fun, especially for the kids.
This year’s Spring Sprint takes place on Saturday, April 4th along the Beaches Boardwalk. It starts and finishes at the foot of Silverbirch Avenue from 9:30am to about 11:30am. After the run there is a BBQ at the Balmy Beach Club, with draws, prizes, snacks and loot bags.
For adults, the run is 5 km, for kids, it’s 2.5 km. You can register at the event.
Online Event Photo Gallery
To view photos from past years’ events visit www.beachesliving.ca. Photos from this year’s event will be online one week after the event.