By Mike Anderson
Nearly 700 runners are expected along Lake Drive East on Saturday, May 6, as the Georgina Spring Fling Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k event comes to De La Salle Park in Jackson’s Point.
Now in its second year, the run is a hit with GTA runners who enjoy the course’s scenic views and flat terrain.
“It’s pancake flat and beside the lake on a quiet road. Those are really attractive qualities for a race course,” said Cindy Lewis-Caballero, co-race director.
“Runners now know about Georgina, and they want to come back.”
She adds support from local businesses and residents, as well as the Town of Georgina, was also instrumental in bringing the event back.
“The town of Georgina is really supportive and easy to work with,” she said. “So there was an opportunity, and we decided to go for it.”
Returning runners will notice some differences from the inaugural event.
This year, race organizers added a marathon (42.2k), something that was missing last spring.
And the course, the same one used for the fall marathon, is certified by Athletics Canada.
“That means that people can get an accurate time and achieve records,” Lewis-Caballero said.
It also means that runners can use their results to qualify for the 2024 Boston Marathon.
“If it’s a certified marathon course, it’s a Boston qualifier,” she said.
There will also be additional aid stations along the course, as more local businesses and groups have volunteered to help with race.
“There will be more energy on the course; they’ll play music, dress up, and provide some excitement to help the runners stay motivated,” she said.
For those who are a little less competitive, the popular 5k race is back, which people can either run or walk.
There’s also a new kids’ run at The Briars Resort & Spa, part of the Spring Fling Explore Georgina Festival, which will host local vendors like Clearwater Farms.
“We have also partnered with the Briars, and there’s a one-kilometre kids’ trail race taking place at 4 p.m. on their property,” Lewis-Caballero said.
“There’s a boathouse along Lake Drive with a sign for an alligator crossing, which has become well-known. So the kids are going to chase an alligator mascot around the one-kilometre kids’ loop.”
While the Briars’ BBQ won’t be happening this year, Gatorade Canada, an official sponsor, will provide light refreshments for runners, including Gatorade, water, bagels and bananas. They will also be able to take a shuttle bus to the Briars after the race for lunch.
Weather always plays a significant role on race day. Last year, the event was held on May 15, with temperatures hovering above 25C, which was too hot for some runners.
This year, race organizers moved the event up a week, hoping that cooler temps will make it more enjoyable.
“What I’ve asked for May 6 is about about 12 to 14 degrees. A little bit of cloud cover and no wind!” Lewis-Caballero laughs.
While the weather might be hard to control, she hopes residents along Lake Drive will do their best to comply with the road restrictions during the race.
She also wants them to avoid driving on Lake Drive from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. But, if they have to go, she asks that they drive only in the eastbound lane.
“The biggest thing is that the westbound lane on Lake Drive will be closed. The eastbound lane will be open, but it would be helpful if there wasn’t much traffic on that lane to keep it safe for all the volunteers and runners,” she said.
Lewis-Caballero says there is still time to register for the event, visit www.raceroster.com.
They are also looking for additional volunteers. If you interested, email email@example.com.
- Opinion: Town’s budget process promotes spending, not savings - November 29, 2023
- Local boxer ranked 4th in the world fights at Pickering Casino Resort on Dec 2 - November 22, 2023
- Local cafe owners offer free hot meals to those who can’t afford them - November 21, 2023