by Chuck MacInnis
Excitement is building for the Third Annual Merrickville Heritage Classic, a running event scheduled for Saturday, April 28. Once again, the event features the 2K Blockhouse Run, the 5K Canal Run and the 10K Jewel of the Rideau Run.
MP Gord Brown, MPP Steve Clark, and County Warden Robin Jones will be joining Merrickville-Wolford Mayer David Nash for the opening ceremonies and the 2 km walk. Beautiful handcrafted medallions, designed and manufactured in Merrickville by the Alloy Foundry Company Limited (the Village Metalsmiths) will be awarded to the top three winners of the 5K and 10K events. In addition, those who register and complete the 2K, 5K or 10K events will receive a participation medallion, also designed by the Village Metalsmiths. This year’s medals will be themed for the 225th anniversary of the founding of Merrickville.
The running routes, which begin at the Merrickville Community Centre, have been established, and the 5K and 10K routes are certified by Athletics Canada (the 2K route does not require certification) and all routes are accredited by Athletics Ontario. To view the routes visit www.run-merrickville.ca and click on the “Register Here! Volunteer Here!” button.
These events are open to all. Participants will be issued bibs with chip timers that will track individual running and/or walking times from start to finish. Runners will leave the gate at 8 a.m.
“The goal of the Merrickville Heritage Classic is to encourage people to get outside and get active through recreational running,” explained race director Lori Urquhart. “It’s all about promoting a healthy lifestyle through a fun, safe activity. The three running events provide a nice choice for participants—ranging from the 2K route (which can also be walked) to the 10K. People who don’t do much running or are thinking of doing more running can easily participate as can those who run a lot and like to compete.”
Registering for the Merrickville Heritage Classic is simple, thanks to online registration at www.run-merrickville.ca. The cost of participating is still very affordable: $25 for the 2K, $40 for the 5K, and $50 for the 10K.
In keeping with the goal of promoting healthy lifestyles, Run Merrickville is happy to announce that proceeds from the 2018 Merrickville Heritage Classic will support local recreation endeavours. In 2017 the committee supported the Merrickville District Trails Society, and the Merrickville Public School ‘Play for Everyone’ fundraising campaign for a new play structure. Both of these organizations provide opportunities for area residents to get outside and be active, as well as to enjoy the nature around us. Lori Urquhart said, “All of us on the committee believe that a healthier population helps keep health costs down. Everyone benefits from that.”
The Merrickville-Wolford Municipal Council and the Rideau Community Health Services (Merrickville Community Health Centre) are supporters of Run Merrickville. Currently, Run Merrickville is seeking to attract other local sponsors to cover operating costs. “We want to ensure the cost of registering remains affordable from one year to the next,” added Lori. “It costs money to organize and host an event like this, but we’re keeping that to a minimum thanks to our volunteers and local support.”
The other members of the Run Merrickville organizing committee are: Maria Ferguson, Chuck MacInnis, Sally MacInnis, Karen Murphy and Nicole Hawken. Currently, the committee is looking for volunteers to help on race day by assisting with set up, traffic control, cheering stations, water stations, route guides, and clean up. On the day of the race, police will be assisting with traffic control. There will also be on-site emergency services, including paramedics and members of the Merrickville Volunteer Fire Department. “We’d love to hear from anyone who would be willing to lend a hand on race day,” said volunteer co-ordinator, Sally MacInnis. “I would encourage people to visit our website, where they can learn more about the Merrickville Heritage Classic, and register as a participant or as a volunteer.”