By Mike Anderson

Following last fall’s successful Georgina Marathon and Half-Marathon, which saw more than six hundred runners on Lake Drive, the inaugural Georgina Spring Fling Half-Marathon will kick off on Sunday, May 15.

While gusting northwest winds, intermittent rain and temperatures hovering around 11 degrees Celsius presented a challenge for the runners last fall, temperatures are expected to be over 20 degrees Celsius. Still, the long-range forecast calls for a few showers, but less than five mm of rain.

“We’d like the weather to stay rain-free, so that would be fantastic if anyone could do that for us. But, it looks good actually,” said Cindy Lewis-Caballero, co-race director.

While Lewis-Caballero believes the race will attract a lot of out-of-town runners, she says it’s been designed to encourage more local participants.

“We’re excited about this event because it has some shorter distances, 5k and 10k, which means that more people from the Georgina community will be able to take part in it.”

Like last fall’s event, the course starts at De La Salle Park and follows the shoreline on Lake Drive before turning back at Civic Centre Road.

“It’s on the same route as the fall event. So people that plan to race in the fall can go out and try out the route, try out their leg speed before going for the half or full marathon in the fall.”

Lewis-Caballero says she expects about 500 participants for the event, which is also open to walkers.

“We’ve created the cutoff times for each event so that someone can walk. So they’ve got three hours to finish the half marathon, and they’ve got two hours to finish the 5k and 10k,” she said.

“We want to welcome everyone. This one is about getting people who live in Georgina involved.”

While the event is this weekend, it is not too late to sign up. Residents can sign up online (www.raceroster.com) until midnight on Saturday.

They can also sign up in person at the pre-race Expo, from 2 to 6 pm, at The Briars this Saturday. There will be speaker presentations and a pasta dinner (5:30 to 8 pm), tickets can be purchased at www.raceroster.com.

Last fall, a parked vehicle delayed the race start by almost 30 minutes. While the Town has sent notices out to residents who live along the course, Lewis-Caballero wants to remind people to move their vehicles off Lake Drive before the 8 am start on Sunday.

“Just the north side of Lake Drive will be closed. That’s where the runners will be running out and back in that lane. So we need to keep that open, so please, no parking on that side,” she said.

“If your house is along the route, just be cautious if you come out of the driveway. There will be volunteers and a course Marshall to help you get out.”

Last fall, due to COVID-19 restrictions, there was no post-race award presentation at De La Salle Park. However, this Sunday, there will be an award presentation and a BBQ. HITS 105.5 FM will provide entertainment, and the race features an Alligator mascot!

“Last year, we had to ask people to leave as soon as they were finished. But this year, there’ll be a little bit of a party. So people are welcome to hang around. They’ll be outdoors — so it will be safe.”

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