It may have been close to two months later than it normally hits the pavement, but Inuvik’s Midnight Sun Fun Run charged forward Aug. 15 to complete two laps throughout town.
Normally held in conjunction with the Summer Solstice, the run was postponed as its initial date was just after the Northwest Territories entered Phase Two of the GNWT’s “Emerging Wisely” plan. Historically a big draw for tourists, this year it was mainly the locals keeping up the Inuvik spirit.
Noting the date change, Covid-19 and lack of tourism diminished the number of participants from previous years, recreation coordinator Steve Krug said 28 people came out for the five-kilometre run, at least 12 for the 10-kilometre and three braved the full 21-kilometre half-marathon.
“This year there was a new route for the five-kilometre, which was more of a loop instead of just down and back to Stanton’s,” he said. “I’m super-happy that it turned out the way it did. The base is to have fun, I think of people did. A lot of people challenged themselves. My wife walked and ran with my five-month old baby in her stroller. There were some people who ran 10-kilometres in previous years and they stepped up to run a half marathon this year, which is a real test of someone’s ability and dedication to moving forward.
“There were some younger kids that took part this year, between eight and 12-years-old. There was an increase in their numbers this year.”
Runners kept social distancing off the start, and were quickly spread out over the runs, which were held back-to-back starting at 8 p.m. for the five-kilometre and then 8:30 p.m. for the 10-kilometre and half-marathon.
Krug said he was happy with how the run turned out, but added he hoped the run could return to its usual spot in June in 2021.
“It’s a community event but we also get a lot of tourists who participate,” he said. “It’s a unique event where people can run under the midnight sun and there’s not too many, if any, other places that offer something like that.”