Halloween Charity Run benefits Lethbridge Food Bank

·3 min read

Dale Woodard Lethbridge Herald

This trick-or-treat session was a little more fleet of foot.

But it was for a good cause as the Halloween Charity Run in the Park took the starting line Saturday morning at Henderson Lake.

There was no stopping at houses for candy as 50 runners ranging in age from roughly 14 to 60 navigated a five-kilometre course around the lake, but people will still get fed as a result of the one-day event with net proceeds going to the Lethbridge Food Bank.

On a bright, yet crisp, Saturday morning, no pandemic was going to keep the runners — some costumed — off the lake front.

“This is the very first one,” said race director Jim Carter. “We thought that in the midst of the challenges that we have right now with COVID-19 we would get something going, have some fun and keep people masked up and keep people safe.”

To keep the distance between the participants, the runners took off two at a time from the starting line.

“Because of COVID-19 we have some special provisions to make sure people are separated, particularly at the starting line where we do not want to have people congested and mingling and that sort of thing,” said Carter, adding the organizers were also accepting drive-through donations Saturday morning. “So they’re all starting in six corrals with about 12 people apiece in a single loop.”

It was about two months ago the organizers started kicking around the idea of a Halloween Charity Run, said Carter.

“There haven’t been too many opportunities for people to get out and run and do something like this. So we said ‘Let’s do it.’ There are some challenges associated with making this happen to satisfy all the Alberta Health Services requirements, but it’s going good. It’s a small group, but under the circumstances we’re happy.”

Local runner James Zanoni came into Saturday’s Halloween Charity Run In The Park prepared.

“I’ve been doing a lot of running on my own since the pandemic started,” said Zanoni, decked out in B.C. Lions gear. “So just a run with others to get the spirit and the energy from other people, I am super excited. It’s so much more fun than running on my own. Of course it’s for a good cause for the food bank to get people fed. It’s a good cause and it’ll be a fun event.”

Zanoni started running in 2016, slowly increasing his distance and building up to a marathon, something he achieved this year.

“At the start of the year I started with a marathon club, trying for my first full marathon,” he said. “Then COVID shut down our training, but I kept training on my own. I did a marathon here in Lethbridge, a 26.2-mile. So I did my own and I was able to finish and hit my goal. I just kept running every weekend since then and to run with others today will be awesome.”

Zanoni did so with his Lions jersey and toque.

“I didn’t have a costume, but the Lions are my team and I thought this works for Halloween with the orange,” he said.

Carter said he hopes to make the Halloween Charity Run In The Park an annual event.

“It’s a great time and sort of a festive Halloween theme. We hope to do it in the future as well.”

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Dale Woodard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lethbridge Herald