A return to its roots proved to be a positive move for the Fresh Air Women’s Run last year, and now organizers are hoping to build on that momentum.
The 36th annual event, during which participants can run a five or 10 kilometres, will once again be held at The Vibrant Vine in East Kelowna, and it will take place on Sunday, Sept. 29. The race used to happen in downtown Kelowna during the month of June.
“I got a lot of compliments that we took it back up to southeast Kelowna and we weren’t running downtown,” Fresh Air’s Amie Olar says. “It was a nice change for everybody to go back up there in the fall and run through the vineyards and orchards right in apple season. Everyone was pretty excited to be back up there for sure.”
All money raised from the Fresh Air Women’s Run will once again go to the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society, whose primary mission is to support and empower those affected by sexual abuse, exploitation or violence.
Even though Mother Nature attempted to put a damper on last year’s event with rainy conditions, Olar said a great time was had by all.
“The crowd was amazing,” she says. “We had about 170 ladies registered, and most of them showed up. It was pouring rain that morning, so I think that kept some people away. I’m really hoping this year that it’s not a repeat weather-wise of last year. We’re hoping for about 200 ladies.”
The Fresh Air Experience Walk/Run originated in 1983, when it was a series of five races across Canada from which the winners received all-expenses-paid trips to Toronto to race in the final. Now organizers put equal emphasis on participation and competition.
Everyone who registers will receive a bottle of wine from The Vibrant Vine, which will also offer tastings once the race is complete. There will also be draw prizes and awards for the top finishers in each age group.
A silent auction will also be conducted on Saturday when the package pickup takes place at the Fresh Air location at 555 Groves Ave. in Pandosy Village. Packages from Big White Ski Resort, SilverStar Ski Resort and Predator Ridge Resort will be up for grabs, with all proceeds also going to the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society.
“It’s a really great run for ladies who are registered to do the half marathon in October,” Olar says. “It’s a great chance to get in a paced 10K, kind of a trial run, for ladies who are doing that.”
David’s Tea and Saje Natural Wellness are at least two partners that will be on location to provide their services to runners on race day. Family, friends and basically everyone is invited to attend the event.
“It’s a great venue for families to come up and cheer on their moms, too,” Olar says. “It’s a kid-friendly venue even though it’s at a winery. It’s all outside in a great, open but contained environment, so the kids can run around and cheer on their mom.”
The entry fee is $65, and people can register online here.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.
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