Half-marathon in its warm-up phase

Ty Dunham
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With avid turnouts like this year’s Run for the Hills, organizers are expecting a good number of participants for the area’s first half-marathon.

It’s time to tighten your laces  and stretch your muscles.

Preparations are underway for the first annual Blueberry Run, a half-marathon starting from the Labrador City Arena, to Blueberry Hill and back, totaling 21km. A 10km and 5km run will also be available.

Shannon Yetman, organizer and leader of the Labrador West Running Club, said based on past events she’s expecting a good turnout.

“There’s a lot of involvement in the run for the hills and duathalon and things like that so we're hoping it will be on par. We have about 130 people in our running group, so I would hope at least half of them run.”

Yetman said efforts have been made for the past four years, but it’s been tough to find volunteers to help and the mapping options have limited the space for running.

“If we go over the Quebec borer we have to ask them for rights to use the roads. And we’ve always had a gravel highway, which we’ve never used because of injuries and things like that. It gave us a small town limit.”

Now that the road is paved, Yetman said a full marathon might be in the future.

Runners in the club have already been training for a Happy Valley/Goose-Bay marathon on October 7, and the marathon in Labrador West will be a good introduction for some.

With less than two months to train Yetman said the seasoned runners should run 10k and half marathon, but newer runners may wish to attempt the 5k along with kids aged 7-13.

Evelyn Ryan, program coordinator for Labrador City, said she’d be happy with any number of participants.

“I would be glad to see 10 people take part. I want this to be something we’ll do in the future and build on it. So whoever we get I’ll be happy to see them there.”

Ryan said she wants to see more people running, using the half-marathon as a personal goal.

Yetman agreed.

“There’s always a competition between participants, but the real incentive is health and activity within the community, and getting people to have a better lifestyle.”

reporter@theaurora.ca

Organizations: Labrador City, Labrador West Running Club

Geographic location: Blueberry Hill, Quebec, Happy Valley Goose-Bay Labrador West

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