ESTEVAN - The Coal Country Run will return to an in-person competition on May 14, and for the first time in its history, it will offer an option for bicycle adepts.
The runners, walkers and cyclists will gather at Woodlawn Reginal Park’s Rotary Park Hall in the morning of May 14 for a five-kilometre, 10-km or 20-km adventure. The walk and run will start at 10 a.m., and bikers will take off at 9:45 a.m. The running and walking routes will go through Woodlawn park trails, and the bikers will get to have a closer look at the new Estevan pathway system, as their route will take them through the city and back into the park.
For the youngest participants, there will be the Kids’ Mini Mile, which is a little less than a mile and will be a lot of fun for the children. They will take off at 11:30 a.m. from the hall as well.
"We've always had them pre-register, but this year, we're just going to have them come down and register the day of the race. If they want to come before they can, but they also can just come down [on the day of the race]," said Peggy Rohatyn, who organizes the event and operates Fresh Air Fitness with Debby Knight.
The finish line for all participants will be at Rotary Park as well, where a lunch supported by the Southern Plains Co-op will be served.
Rohatyn said the interest so far has been good. They also hope to see a lot of people taking advantage of the biking component.
"We thought of the biking event because the new trails would be nice. This is our first year for that, so there might be some things that we have to improve on for next year. But there's a lot of bikers out there, so I think it'll be good," Rohatyn said.
All proceeds from the event will go to Fresh Air Fitness, plus $500 will be designated to a scholarship for one ECS student with an interest in health and wellness. Rohatyn said they always have maintenance to do, and they added weight racks and have more projects on the agenda for this summer for the outdoor fitness site.
"We are adding beach volleyball and Crossnet volleyball. And we're going to get it done with the proper stand and all that kind of stuff. And then we're also going to have some clinics this year with certified instructors. There'll be one for senior citizens, so they can see what there is for them to do. There'll be one for aerial yoga; there'll be one for regular yoga. We're hoping to have a meditation one down there. We're hoping to have maybe a running clinic down there," Rohatyn said.
"We've talked to the other gym owners and they're going to jump in and help us out. We're going to have some girls do some bungee because we've got bungee, and we're going have them put a little program together for that just to show people what it's about and how they can do it."
Fresh Air Fitness will also host a force competition this summer.
Usually, Coal Country Run attracts about 120-130 participants, and that's about what the organizers hope to see, however, everyone is welcome to join the race.
"That's a nice number to keep track of. Of course, if we have more, that's awesome, we'll gladly take it because it is a fundraiser. But we also like to make sure it's run well. So, if we can have anywhere between 100 and 150, that would be awesome," Rohatyn said.
She added that behind-the-scenes work has already begun. They are currently ordering T-shirts and looking for volunteers, who closer to the date will help mark off the courses and will ensure things go smooth on the day of the event.
"We usually marked that the night before, but this year, we'll be putting up markers about a week before the event on the biking course, on pathways, just to let people know that there might be a few more bikes on there than normal," Rohatyn said.
Medals will be ordered from Murray Arnold, and there will be winners in many different categories.
They will also have a two-day Information Expo running during the registration on May 13 from 5-8 p.m., and during the race on May 14 from 9 a.m.-noon. free to all vendors.
"If there's anybody who wants to promote their business or promote a sport that they do or anything like that, we don't charge them anything, they can come down if they want. We'll have a table set up and they can have a little vendors’ expo," Rohatyn said.
On the morning of the run, OM Yoga Studio will offer a class to participants, and Recharge Massage Studio will provide massages afterwards.
To register for the race people can stop by Henders Drugs, get a hold of Rohatyn or Knight, or go to runningroom.com. Rohatyn added that they appreciate it if people registered by May 13, but they will accept participants up until the morning of the event.