Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Incredible turnout for first annual Moonshadow Run

10K entrants begin their run
Josh Davis

Pincher Creek's first annual Moonshadow run was hosted on the evening of Saturday, September 26, the day before the lunar eclipse. The night was nice and warm; wind and showers from earlier in the day had died down. Three different runs took place: a 2.5 km run, a 5 km run, and a 10 km run. The event was timed so that runners would see the sunset in the western skies, and the full moon in the east.

The event was an unmitigated success, with 247 registered runners attending, in addition to 43 volunteers and a large number of community members attending to show their support. The majority of runners were from Pincher Creek and area, though some attended from the Crowsnest Pass. There were even a couple of Calgarians in the run. The age range of participants ran the gamut. The youngest participant was three months old, and the eldest was 79 years old. Many runners applied on the day of the event, and organizers ran out of t-shirts. Dale Stuckey served as Master of Ceremonies during the event, and a seven minute free-dance warm-up was led by Marquis Harris.

Warm-up act Marquis Harris and Dale Stuckey
Matthew Halton School Automotive Teacher Mr. Travis Epp was the first to complete the 10K run, with a time under 40 minutes.

Travis Epp, 10K First Place

The run was thought up by the Town of Pincher Creek’s Recreation Advisory Committee as a way to keep the community active following the Pincher Creek run in last year’s Southern Alberta Summer Games. “We had a 10k road race in the summer games, and a lot of the participants from all over southern Alberta came and ran, and they loved the course through the river valley and along the creeks,” said John Verhagen, who was head of the Recreation and Advisory Committee that planned the run.

Pincher Creek's Spray Park Society raised funds for their cause at the concession
“We decided we should do a run. We have towns around us that do runs, like the Crowsnest Pass with their Sinister Seven, and then Lethbridge has a whole bunch,” continued Verhagen. “We’re really working to promote active living, and get people out and about and off the couch. We got people to come out and enjoy the evening, and meet friends.”

“We’re extremely happy. Everybody has been amazing. The Town of Pincher Creek’s Maintenance Operations Committee was great with setting up the trails, dropping dirt to fix the trails in spots. They rebuilt the trail on the north side of the creek for this run. Bylaw officers are controlling traffic, same with EMS on the bridges.”

“Our hope is to do it every year. We’d like to continue co-ordinating it with other things that are going on around town, such as the Harvest Festival and Culture Days. We’d like to see a big event day happen. We’d like to put it all together into one nice day where everyone is around and gets to know everybody in the community. It’s really for the community. We’re not trying to become a major road race. It’s more of a fun evening to come out and enjoy with your friends and family.”

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