The popular Oceanside Mother’s Day 5k and 10k run is back this coming May.
The event organized by the non-profit Oceanside Runners Club Association will take place on May 14. It has been cancelled for the last three years due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Doug Brown, one of the organizers, said they’re excited that ORCA is now able to host the Mother’s Day race again. There will be a major change this year.
In the past, the race started and finished on Pioneer Crescent cul-de-sac near the former Quality Foods store in Parksville. The 10-kilometre route went through Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, which Brown said, poses safety concerns.
“We love to continue to hold it at the same place but during the race, there are a lot of vehicles checking out from Rathtrevor Park and travelling out of there at the same time the race is on,” said Brown. “It’s about keeping all the runners safe so we decided to move the race to a new location this year.”
The race will be held in Qualicum Beach and will start at the Qualicum Beach Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76. The new route will traverse from the Qualicum Beach Legion through the Dollymount Trail, Fern Road E, Hollywood Road, Village Way, Hemsworth Road, back on Dollymount Trail and finish at the QB Legion. That distance is five kilometres.
For those who are doing the 10k distance, they will have to complete the route twice.
“We’re excited to bring back the Mother’s Day race,”said Brown. “My goal is to re-establish it, put the foundation in. We’ve run it for 10 years under the Mother’s Day umbrella and then we had to stop. So we’re restarting with a new venue and a new format. The idea is to lay the foundation so we can grow again from here on.”
Brown said they averaged 450 runners in the past before COVID-19 cancelled the event.
“I have no idea how many people we’re going to have,” said Brown. “We don’t know what we’re getting since we’re restarting it after a three-year absence. I hope we get enough. If we get 400 … fabulous. If we get 250, that’s great. At least we got started again.”
Brown said they’re extremely happy to have all their past sponsors supporting the race, which is also a fundraiser for three organizations in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area. The running club plans to again allocate funds generated from the race to the Parksville Qualicum Haven House and Forward House Community Society. This year, third recipient will be the Oceanside Community Track Society, which is raising funds to upgrade the dilapidated Ballenas cinder-track with a six lane all-season surface.
Registration for the race is expected to open on March 1. For more information on registering and know more about ORCA, you can go online at orcarunning.ca
Organizers are also looking for volunteers to help out during the race. And if you’re interested, you can contact organizers at orcarunning.ca