June 16th, 2024

Moonlight Run back for its 36th year

By Lethbridge Herald on March 14, 2023.

Herald File Photo Lethbridge's Trish York-Gillet crosses the finish line in just over 53 minutes and leads a pack of runners behind her at the Moonlight Run in this March 2022 file photo.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

Runners and walkers of all ages are gearing up to participate in the 36th installment of the Moonlight Run fundraiser this Saturday. 

The run was virtual in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event then returned to in-person in 2022,and now the race director feels the event  is working its way back up to normal numbers after over  2,000 participants signed up in 2023.

“And yeah, so it’s getting back close to the numbers that we had pre-pandemic, which is exciting,” said Shawn Pinder, run race director.

Pinder expects the run to get back to the normal  2,500 runners in the near future.

There is about three-quarters of the runners signed up in the six-kilometre and about the other 500 participants are going to challenge the 10-kilometre trek.

“It’s certainly the biggest (run) we have in Lethbridge every year,” said Pinder.

“I kind of look at it as a bit of a celebration of spring. Obviously we still have snow on the ground outside but things are warming up and thawing out. Even the snow we had this morning (Tuesday), it’s quickly going. So it’s nice to get out and with a large group of people, enjoy some activity as we kind of move in to a little bit warmer temperatures for spring.”

Pinder said being in the running community, it gives people an early season challenge to train for.

“So like I know working in Runner’s Soul, we certainly have lots of people coming in and talking about ‘Oh yeah I just started training for the Moonlight Run,’ you know just right after New Year’s,” he said.

“So it’s nice that people can kind of key in on this event as something to give themselves that challenge, and it helps …  keep them motivated over the first couple months of the year in getting a little more active.”

Funds from the event go to a local charitable organization, which has yet to  be determined for this year.

“We’re still in discussions whether we’ll be looking at Lethbridge Food Bank, which we have done in the past, the Lethbridge Soup Kitchen — you know there’s a variety of charitable organizations,” said Pinder.

“We’ve tried to keep it a little more locally focused, in terms of the organization that we donate to.”

Moonlight Run starts at 8 p.m. beside Casa on Saturday and the finish line will be in the same location.

The route will start at Casa, go down for a loop in Indian Battle Park and back up the Wendy’s restaurant hill.

Prizes and awards will be given out.

Spectators are encouraged to come and cheer the runners on and can listen to musical artist at various times.

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