The Run for the Mountain is turning up the volume this year.
The annual six-kilometre run/walk around Westwood Lake is scheduled for Saturday (Sept. 14) at 9 a.m.
“Our registration last year was a record number and we’re keeping on pace with last year, if not a little ahead,” said Mike Thibodeau, race director.
Something new at the event this year is a soundtrack, as Thibodeau has booked what is being billed as a Band on the Barge. Rock group Potential Trainwreck will be performing on a floating stage on race day.
The band’s high-energy sound might help inspire some of Nanaimo’s fastest runners to even quicker loops around the lake on Saturday.
“I know there’s quite a few people in town that are pretty in shape right now and aiming to run some pretty fast times…” Thibodeau said. “It will be interesting to see who comes out of the trees first.”
Nanaimo’s Erin Burrett will be back, trying for her fifth straight crown as Queen of Westwood, but there will be a new King of Westwood as last year’s record-setting champ, Jeremiah Johnson, isn’t able to make it to the Island this time around.
Thibodeau said he’s seeing lots of parents and their kids signing up together, and he knows of running clinics that have been timed to target the Run for the Mountain.
“The speed is coming back, it looks like family fun is happening and people new to events are signing up, so it’s exactly what we want the event to be,” he said.
Some runners have been collecting pledges, as the race is a fundraiser for Nanaimo and Area Land Trust’s Mount Benson Wilderness Park.
“Like always, we’re trying to save our scenic backdrop of Nanaimo,” said Thibodeau.
For information about online registration, click here. There will be race-day registration from 7:30-8:30 a.m., though organizers would prefer that runners and walkers register at Frontrunners Nanaimo on Turner Road by Friday (Sept. 13). Race package pickup is Friday from noon-8 p.m. at Frontrunners.
For more information about the event including tips on running a fast time around the lake, please visit www.runforthemountain.ca.