It’s been 13 years since Glen Reimer initiated the Headingley Fire Department’s Run for Wishes charity event.
This annual five-kilometre run and three-kilometre walk, which benefits a number of charitable organizations but mostly the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation, starts at the Headingley Fire Hall on Bridge Road in Headingley , winds south over Taylor Bridge, west on Roblin Boulevard to Alboro Street, north on Rodney Street and back to Roblin to end at the its starting point, the fire hall.
Glen Reimer, race director, says "this small local endeavour that was started by me, my wife Joanne and fire chief Doug Hanson has grown to 300 runners. All are welcome to join."
In addition to local runners or walkers, Athletics Manitoba-sanctioned competitors vie for the provincial five-kilometre road race championship. Novices and elite runners win medals awarded by age groupings.
"For those who prefer to walk, the course takes a shortcut through the Phoenix School area to shorten it to three kilometres," Reimer says.
"Last year we raised about $10,000," he adds.
Over the years, a number of innovations have been made to the event. For racers, the most innovative has been the introduction of chip timing.
All participants in the event wear small chip timers in their shoelaces. As each runner’s chip timer passes the official starting line, his or her starting time is recorded. When each runner crosses the finish line, the chip timer is again read. Thus it is no longer critical exactly where your starting position is in the group because each runner’s individual race/walk time is captured by the system.
This year’s race will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 25. It is usually completed by 11:30 a.m. Headingley fire department members and other volunteers come out to help control race traffic and to provide encouragement. In addition, about 25 local sponsors that help provide food and prizes for the participants and spectators.
To sign up as a participant or sponsor, visit the R.M. of Headingley website at www.rmofheadingley.ca
Valerie Chatain-White is a community correspondent for Headingley. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.