Fall Challenge celebrates 10 years
Half marathon highlights Sept. 23 race/walk event
By: Jeff Hansen
| Posted: Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 06:00 am
The St. Albert Fall Challenge celebrates a major milestone this year.
The Sept. 23 race on the Red Willow trail system marks the 10th anniversary of the event sponsored by the Sturgeon Valley Athletic Club (SVAC).
“We’re ecstatic and very thankful for the support within the community that’s seen the event grow and sustained over the last 10 years,” said SVAC manager Christine Rawlins. “The core reason for starting the event 10 years ago was to provide sort of a less competitive environment for people to participate in an activity like this right in their back yard. We also have a beautiful trail system, and combined with the time of year when the event is held, it obviously showcases the community quite wonderfully.”
The deadline to register online is Thursday at 11:59 p.m.
So far more than 300 entries have been processed for the 21.1-kilometre half-marathon run/walk (two laps on the trail), 10-km run/walk (one lap) and five km run/walk.
Entry includes a Technical T-shirt, post-race barbecue, draw prizes and a special bonus gift for all participants from SVAC.
To sign up, visit www.events.runningroom.com.
Information is also available at www.sva-club.com.
Late registrations will be accepted at the St. Albert Running Room on Friday, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and Kingswood Park, the race venue, on Sunday between 7 and 8 a.m.
“We encourage our race participants to visit the farmers’ market too when they’re here on Saturday for race package pick-up. We try and tie in that community involvement so visitors from out of town get a great experience of what the city has to offer,” Rawlins said.
Last year’s registration total of 451 was 43 less than the 2010 record turnout of runners and walkers. The majority hail from St. Albert.
“We’re really proud and pleased of the community participation over the years,” Rawlins said.
Start times are 8 a.m. for the half-marathon walk and 9 a.m. for the half-marathon run, 10 km run/walk and five km run/walk. The .5-km kids’ loop goes at 11:30 a.m. and no pre-registration is required.
The 2011 half-marathon winner was Mark Faas of Hanna. He finished in front of 226 runners in one hour 24 minutes 53 seconds.
The 2010 champion was AJ Rankle of Edmonton. He beat out 253 runners at 1:21.
The fastest female for the second year in a row was Wietske Eikelenboom of St. Albert at 1:31:16 for seventh overall. Her time the year before was 1:31:12, also seventh overall.
New this year is chip timing by Results Canada.
“We’re looking at ways to grow and enhance the event without making it too big of a machine as well,” Rawlins said.
Interested volunteers can call Rawlins at 780-904-4114.
Donations to the St. Albert Food Bank will also be accepted on the morning of the race.