The weather outside was frightful, but the participation level at the seventh annual Holiday Hustle 5k/2k was delightful. By Saturday evening there were 135 registrants signed up online, a new record. Despite cold wind and rain on Sunday morning, an additional 21 people registered on site to bring the total to 156, an increase of more than 50 per cent over the previous high of 99, set in 2014.
Online and in-person donations by participants totalled $562 for the Chatelech and Elphinstone running teams and $125 for the Elves Club. Net race revenue from entry fees was added to the donations, bringing the running teams’ total raised to $1,829 and the Elves Club total to $250.
“The running team funds will help pay travel and uniform costs for the team, removing financial barriers to student athletes who want to compete,” said event co-organizer Larry Nightingale, who is the coach for both school teams. “That’s the reason we put on this event and others like it. Not only does it support the student athletes financially, it also provides a venue for kids and adults to discover a love of running, in a fun, no-stress setting.”
The 5k had 84 finishers, led by three-time past winner and former Chatelech racing team member Jordan Wilson of Sechelt in a blazing fast 16:32. Teenager Keaton McIlwraith of Roberts Creek and master runner Jamie Leveque of Sechelt took second and third spots overall in 20:05 and 20:34 respectively. Both are PaceSetter Athletic Club members. Leveque was third last year as well, but ran nearly a minute faster this year.
On the women’s side, 16-year-old Kallalei Ryden of Gibsons, who races for Elphinstone and PaceSetter Athletic Club, easily captured first female position with a time of 21:04, placing her fifth overall. Second and third women to finish were Leah Painter of Sechelt in 25:11 and J Klassen of Sechelt in 25:21.
The fastest of 54 finishers in the 2k was eight-year-old Nolan Magnusson in 10:33, chased in by Dayton Tattrie (8) and Callum Storey (9) who were just 12 seconds behind. Right behind the boys was 10-year-old Isla Mackay of Madeira Park in 11:03.
After finishing, participants gathered inside the warm, dry Seaside Centre, festively decorated and filled with the smooth sounds of a jazz duo from Chatelech. Hot coffee, hot chocolate, mandarin oranges and home-baked Christmas treats supplied by sponsors and volunteers were enjoyed by all.
Thanks to many generous donations by local businesses, 38 prizes, valued from $5 to $110, were awarded to participants and volunteers in a random draw. This was the highlight of the morning for many, especially the younger participants, who eagerly crowded around the prize table in anticipation as the numbers were drawn.
More photos, full results and a list of sponsors are available at pacesetterathletic.club/hh5k
What’s next: training clinics for the BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool’s Run will be starting up in mid-January; check pacesetterathletic.ca soon for details and registration.
– Submitted by Teresa Nightingale