Dozens brave elements for fundraiser
The Brandon Sun - 9/10/2019
Braving temperatures hovering around 10 C, approximately 70 runners took to the Grand Valley Campground hills to race and raise money for the Manitoba Special Olympics on Saturday.
Anytime Fitness owner Amber White has been organizing the Wheat City Fun Run for three years.
The event spans five kilometres and features obstacles that include a giant water slide, a tire obstacle course, multiple mud pits and a foam finish.
“It’s kind of like a little ninja warrior course,” White said.
The course takes between approximately an hour to an hour and a half to finish.
White’s favourite aspect of the course is the mud pit runners crawl through near the end of the race.
“They sink in that mud and they get muddy,” White said with a laugh, adding that she loves watching participants arrive at the finish line grinning and covered in grime.
All money raised at the fun run goes toward Special Olympics Manitoba.
It is important to raise funds for the Special Olympics, especially because the gym shares a partnership with the non-profit, White said.
Special Olympics Westman region treasurer and coach Jennifer Anderson said that she joins other organizers in being excited to partner with Anytime Fitness and are looking forward to building the relationship between athletes and the gym.
There are almost 200 Special Olympics athletes in Westman alone, she said.
For the most part, the athletic activities are free, but some do include a user fee. The non-profit tries to subsidize the sports for athletes to ensure they are accessible for those that are interested.
“Special Olympics is all about creating opportunities through sport — any time we can tie that to something that is fitness or sport-related it is just so much better,” she said.
Events like the fun run are pivotal to the Special Olympics, Anderson said, because 70 per cent of the organization’s operating cost comes from community fundraisers.
“If there weren’t fundraisers, we would have to limit the number of competitions that we are able to host and the number of competitions that we attend,” Anderson said. “It could possibly limit the amount of athletes we take in as well.”
It takes a lot of work to organize the Wheat City Fun Run, White said, adding that she is thankful for the support the fun run has received from the Westman community and the volunteers who help make the day a success.
The run, which drew in 70 registered runners this year, usually has more than 100 participants, White said.
She suspects the drop in registration numbers could be a result of shifting the fun run to the first week of September.
“We thought we could go later in the year and do it in September when school is back in and people are back from the lake,” White said. “This year, the weather got a little bit cold a little bit fast.”
Finishing the course covered with mud and foam wearing a giant smile, participant Taylor Langlois conquered the obstacle course with ease.
The fun run is always great friendly competition, she said, regardless of the weather.
Langois participated in the race with her team, Bloodbath & Beyond.
She participated in the run two years ago when she said it was an incredibly hot, so this year was nice in comparison because it was significantly cooler.
“It was still a lot of fun coming out here with the ladies.”
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