CHESTERMERE – If you saw an abundance of runners in Chestermere on the morning of Sept. 18, it wasn’t because a bunch of locals were starting a new fitness regimen.
Instead, it was because of the third annual Loop Around the Lake, a charity run that donates all proceeds to the Chestermere Public Library.
Organizer Bernard Maillet said that it was another successful year, and that he is continually overwhelmed by the support of everyone in the community, as well as the sponsors, the volunteers and of course the participants.
“Wasn’t it a good day? Or was that just me?” Maillet said on Monday. “I thought it went really well, everything was fantastic.”
The fundraising total from this years run wasn’t available for press time, and Maillet said that he still waiting for a few donations and sponsorships to come in. Whatever the total is, it will be 90 per cent matched by provincial funding, bringing Maillet closer to his goal of raising $100,000 in 10 years to donate to the library.
“Everything went smoothly this year, we were done by just after 11 a.m. which was great,” he said.
Maillet, who also brought a triathlon to Chestermere this summer, said that he thinking about having another one next year, and combining it with the Loop Around the Lake. He said having the two events on the same day could increase participants in both events.
“It’s something we’ve been talking about,” he said. “It could haul in more people which would be great to see because it is a fundraising effort.”
This year, because of the construction on East Chestermere Drive, the runners couldn’t actually do a full loop around the lake. Instead, they started at the recreation centre, ran down West Chestermere Drive, and crossed to the east side of the lake before doubling back.
Maillet said that no one complained about the change to the course, but he hopes to have things back to normal for next year.
“Hopefully construction won’t get in the way so we can actually go around the lake next year,” he said. “It’s obviously in the title of the event and I think it’s part of the attraction too.”
There were 137 participants in total, with most taking part in the 11.2 km race. Almost as many did the 5 km track, with around 22 kids taking part in the 1 km kids race.
The overall winner of the 11.2 km race was, for the second year in a row, Russell McLellan. He had a time of 42 minutes, 56 seconds. Andrea Glover and Jordan Koch followed him with times of 46 minutes, 44 seconds and 47 minutes, 29 seconds, respectively.
Austin Germshied had the fastest time for the 5 km run, finishing with a time of 22 minutes, 15 seconds. His mom, Hilary, was close behind him with a time of 23 minutes, 2 seconds. Muzafar Aumad took third with a time of 24 minutes, 40 seconds.
Noah Skrynyk was the winner of the 1 km kids race, finishing with a time of four minutes, 52 seconds.
“I think every race went really well,” he said. “The kids race was especially fun this year because the kids got to have timing chips and find out their exact time when they were done.
“For a kid to put a timing chip around their ankle kind of makes them go “wow!”, which might motivate them to be more active.”
While giving his speech before the race’s kickoff, Maillet had to take a few deep breaths and hold back some happy tears.
“I had a moment there, it came out of nowhere,” he said with a laugh. “I’m so passionate about it, and it just hits me some moments.
“Seeing everyone there made me really happy, it was an awesome day.”
He said he’d once again like to thank everyone for their tremendous support, and that he hopes to see everyone back at the fourth annual Loop Around the Lake next year.
For more info about the event and the full results, go to looparoundthelake.ca. For more event photos, visit the Anchor Weekly on Facebook.