High winds and toppling tents couldn’t stop the first ever Run/Walk for Heritage in Agassiz on Saturday morning.
Wind speeds were at about 24 km/hr at the outset of the run at 9 a.m., whipping papers through the parking lot and lifting the industrial sized tents from the ground.
But spirits remained high throughout the event, and as runners arrived back at the staging area after the run, many helped secure the tents so they wouldn’t blow away.
Luke McKerrrow from Rosedale was the first to cross the finish line, in the 5K portion of the event, with a time of about 22 minutes. Tom Hoogendoorn of Agassiz came in second shortly afterward.
First place in the ladies division went to Tara Patterson. First place youth was Alex Schwichtenberg and first place for seniors went to Allen Vogstad.
Because this was a first time event, aimed at raising funds for the Kilby Historic Site and the Agassiz Harrison Historical Society, time was being kept only by a timer at the finish line. The strong winds also prevented volunteers from collecting the times properly as runners arrived.
In the future, Judy Pickard from the Historical Society said they will look into purchasing a more accurate chip system.
“Our number one goal was to get community involvement, which we did,” she said. “And we hope to continue this as a community event.”
While the windy weather caused a bit of chaos at times, Pickard said most who live in Agassiz are used to the spring weather and took it in stride.
“Anybody who lives in Agassiz understands the wind,” she said. “And everybody really helped out in the end when those tents went flying.”
The Walk/Run was a huge success in terms in numbers, too. There were 108 registered in the event, and about 100 showed up on Saturday morning. They raised about $4,000, but were still tallying final numbers at press time.
The Walk/Run for Heritage was supported by the Running Room, and was attended by that company’s area manager, Amanda Gutteridge.
She attends about 100 running events each year, and said the turnout in Agassiz was impressive.
“For a community this size to culminate the interest in such a short time says something,” she said. “The community really came out to support this cause.”
There was a 3K walk/run and a 5K walk run. Pickard said they may consider adding a 10K leg to the event next year, as well.
For more photos from this event, visit us online at www.ahobserver.com.