For the third year in a row, Racetrack Road was clogged with hundreds of runners/walkers in the Millarville “Run To The Farmers’ Market” Half Marathon race day, all wending their way from Black Diamond to finish at the 32nd season-opening day of southern Alberta’s largest outdoor market on June 14.
With the addition of the new COBS Cinnamon Bun Run (8 Miles) in 2014 and a two person half marathon relay last year, the race day has doubled in size – from 300 registrations to 600 – since it started in 2012.
“Our original goal was to have an event that would increase attendance on a “shoulder” day at the Farmers Market and that seems to have worked out quite well,” said Race Director Rick Charlton. “In addition to those running, our post-race surveys show that every participant brings another 1.6 people with them to the Farmers’ Market to meet them after they’re done.”
The new 8-miler race, attracting about 140 participants, was broken broken down into “Bunner” and “Runner categories, with the former stopping twice to eat delicious cinnamon buns on the way to the Market. The most remarkable feat of the day might have been Ben Elliott winning the “Bunner” component of the COBS Cinnamon Bun Run. Elliott, in spite of having to stop twice to each cinnamon buns along the 8-Mile way, still outran all of the “Runner” 8-Milers who didn’t have to stop at all.
In the marquee event, the half marathon, Nathan Kendrick of Calgary broke his own course record with a 1:13:13 finishing time while former Canadian Olympian and local running legend Lisa Harvey won the women’s side for the second year in a row, edging out 2012 winner and women’s course record holder Melissa Kendrick in a tight battle.
The event was about 70% female for the third year in a row.
Kelly Hodgins, owner of COBS Bread Okotoks, managed to dispense with 960 of the 1,000 cinnamon buns she brought for the morning, with most of those consumed at the finish line.
“We hope to see things continue to grow in the next few years,” said Charlton. “We’d like to thank our volunteer team of roughly 125 without which this important event wouldn’t have been able to happen.”
Thanks as well to these great sponsors and donors:
COBS Bread; Centennial Village, Okotoks; Foothills Animal Hospital, Okotoks; Okotoks GMC; Okotoks Nissan; Millarville & District Recreation Board; Franklin Templeton; Royal Mutual Funds; David Gilbert of Sobey’s Okotoks; Bar T-5 Agra Services, Millarville; Mountain View Dental Hygiene, Black Diamond; JKR Excavating; AG Foods, Black Diamond; Berrien Associates, Okotoks; Image Hair Design, Okotoks; RBC Dominion Securities, Calgary South; Impact Magazine; Running Room; Classic Source for Sport, Okotoks; Diamond Fitness & Wellness, Black Diamond; Harvest Moon Health Foods, Okotoks; Human Kinetics, Ontario; lululemon athletica, Calgary Southcentre; Mountain Equipment Co-op, Calgary; Starbucks, Okotoks; Summit Sports Physio, Okotoks; Millarville Racing & Agricultural Society; Janet Horbacio Photography; Turner Valley Golf Club; Geidanus Honey Mill; Essence Of The Nile; Highwood Valley Ranch Beef; Cat’s Eye Jewelry Design; Acres Of Memories; Good Stuff Maple; The Daily Method; Bank Of Nova Scotia, Okotoks; Okotoks Dawgs Baseball; Western Financial, Turner Valley; Royal Bank, Okotoks.