The 37th annual BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool's Run, presented by Coast Cable, will see 600-plus runners and walkers hoofing it from Gibsons to Sechelt on Sunday, April 6.
Title Sponsor BMO Bank of Montreal is back for a third year, providing generous support in the form of cash, volunteers, souvenir items, volunteer garments, cheering aids and team spirit. BMO the Bear will be back to provide encouragement to participants, and BMO staff will host the final water station at Jack Road.
"We're excited at BMO to be joining in the fun and frivolity of the BMO April Fool's Run again," said Debra Carson, BMO Bank of Montreal branch manager in Gibsons. "This is such a popular and scenic run, we just had to be involved again -as volunteers, runners and cheerleaders."
Coast Cable/Coast TV is also returning with a cash donation plus the usual well-edited 30-minute show from race day footage, to be aired on channel 11 in the month following the event.
Custom finisher medals, post-race goodies and hot soup, professional race announcer, free shuttle buses, low entry fees and friendly volunteers are just some of the features that keep locals and visitors alike coming back year after year.
One interesting change from last year is the start time: 9:17 a.m. (8:17 a.m. for walkers). Strange, yes, but there is historical precedent. The inaugural April Fool's Day Run was scheduled for 9 a.m. on April 1, 1978, but co-founder Fran Berger slept in. According to the newspaper report, the other 18 participants waited around for her until exactly 9:17 a.m. before setting off.
Fast-forward to April 2013, when organizers Teresa and Larry Nightingale, unaware of this detail, jokingly chose 9:17 for a new start time after some participant feedback on last year's change from 9 to 9:30 a.m.
"It was a little too much extra time for ferry travellers to warm up, etc.," said Teresa. "Everyone was ready to go by 9:15."
Also, some people hadn't noticed the new time on the website.
"We thought an oddball time would be more memorable, and fit in with the event theme," said Larry.
Visit www.foolsrun.com for the complete race weekend schedule, and to register as a participant or volunteer. Next fee increase is March 16.
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