A trio of students at Royal Roads University are behind a new run in the 2015 race calendar.
The Great Island Run will start and finish in the Beaver Lake Park on June 20, with distances of 10, five and one kilometres. Proceeds from the run will benefit therapy programs at the Mount St. Mary Hospital residential care home in Victoria. It was a cause the students immediately clicked with when a representative to spoke to their professional communications class at RRU earlier this year, said Alex Illingworth, a 26-year-old from Guayaquil, Ecuador.
“We wanted to do something for the community and to bring the community together. People know the legacy of (the Sisters of St. Ann, we thought it’d be something palpable for the city.”
Illingworth brings previous experience in advertising and is passionate about presentation. He admits to deferring to project teammate and former collegiate track-and-field athlete Dmitriy Kuleshov when it comes to race logistics.
“The one kilometre walk-run is for kids, we want everyone to feel welcome, but we are also inviting competitive runners, runners of any level,” said Kuleshov, who is here from Calgary.
“This race is to raise awareness and funds for the therapy programs, we were inspired by the residents at St. Mary’s,” he said.
The Great Island Run is shaping up nicely with sponsors on board, but there’s always room for more, Kuleshov said.
“The group haven’t faced any challenges, the Capital Regional District and insurance company for the race have all been very co-operative.”
The run was originally scheduled for May 8 but the project team, which includes a third partner, Karen Velazquez, moved it to June 20 and has put the extra time into making it that much better of an event, Illingworth said.
“We know you have to build something step by step and even though I won’t be here next year, that doesn’t mean we aren’t hoping the torch will be passed, it would be amazing if it ran annually.”
Chief Harvey Underwood of the Tsawout First Nation will be part of the opening ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. followed by the 10km run at 10 a.m., and
Visit greatislandrun.ca for more information.