Runners and would-be runners will have a chance later this month to run just for fun.
A Halloween 5K Fun Run is set for Oct. 28.
“It’s fun. It’s for exercise,” said organizer Sherry Ringuette.
She hopes that it may be the first of more fun runs in the community.
“When you have an event, it helps give people motivation to get out to get in their training, and it’s really hard during the winter here. It can be long,” she noted. “So if we can get a couple of these going throughout the winter, it helps keep runners motivated.”
The hope is to have a fun run about every two months centred on different holidays and special dates on the calendar.
“Just to get people moving,” said Ringuette. “When you know other people are going out, it’s easier.”
It could be at times like Christmas, the winter solstice, Thanksgiving or Easter.
“It could be anything,” said Ringuette. “It’s just nice to sort of plan it around holidays.”
People are welcomed to come in costume for the Halloween 5K Fun Run, even if they are just dressed up as runners or run/walkers.
The event starts at 1 p.m. on Oct. 28 at the Rec Centre, and participants cover the five kilometres by running to and from the welcome to Hay River sign.
Hot chocolate will be provided at an aid station at the turnaround point at the welcome sign.
Ringuette noted there are many runners in Hay River.
“There’s quite a few if you pay attention on the weekend,” she said, “You just watch and you see people out running. You’ll see them in all kinds of weather, and early in the morning and late in the evening.”
An informal group of runners keep in contact through Facebook as the Hay River Running Club.
“There is kind of an old running club in Hay River,” Ringuette explained. “We don’t meet formally, but I know there are a lot of people that go out and run independently and it’s nice once in a while to have an event to attend. It’s a good distance if you’re not training a whole lot and it’s nice to test yourself and run a little faster if you’re running on a regular basis.”
The informal club is not involved in organizing the upcoming fun run, since Ringuette is doing that as a volunteer.
“I won’t be running because I’m helping organize this one,” she said. “But the more events we can have then hopefully I can participate, as well. It’s a lot for parks and rec to do it all the time. They have other events that they’re doing.”
Although it is not a Town of Hay River event, Dale Loutit, the recreation programmer with the town, is helping Ringuette with the fun run.
Loutit said she likes the idea of Halloween costumes for the run.
“I think it’s amazing. It’s a great concept,” she said. “There are lots of people that are coming forward and asking to do fun runs and there are runners in the community.”
Loutit noted she organized a fun run last fall.
“I also did a Santa fun run in December where people were welcomed to wear Santa hats,” she said.
In fact, at that run, people did wear Santa hats and reindeer hats.
Loutit noted that both of those runs were also five kilometres.
“With a 5K fun run it’s a little bit lesser of a distance to push yourself to make it and to achieve that goal,” she said. “It gives you a goal to achieve.”
Loutit said it is encouraging that someone in the community has stepped up to organize a fun run.
Ringuette has no prediction of how many people may show up for the Halloween 5K Fun Run.
“It just depends on who’s in town and who’s willing to come out and brave whatever the weather is,” she said.
Ringuette said it is difficult to predict what the weather will be.
“You never know. It’s Halloween,” she said. “We might get snow, but that’s just part of the weather up here.”
Nor did she have any prediction of how many people might show up in Halloween costumes.
“They could be,” she said. “If they’re into Halloween, they absolutely could be.”