Powassan Sap Run raises nearly $5,000

·3 min read

Seventy men, women and children helped raise just under $5,000 in the annual Sap Run in Powassan. Like the previous two years, the 2022 version of the Sap Run was a virtual event because of COVID-19. Under the in-person scenario, all participants would meet on the same day at 250 Clark and run or walk five kilometres or 10 km while the distance was 500 metres or 1,000 metres for children. Although all four distances remained the same for the virtual event, participants had the choice whether to run or walk this past Saturday or Sunday. They also didn't have to be in Powassan to take part. After completing their respective run or walk, they took a picture of themselves and sent it to Jared Dupuis, the Sap Run organizer. Dupuis will now turn over the money that was raised to the municipality. About 40 per cent of the funds will be donated to the North Bay Regional Health Centre to be used in the Children Adolescent Mental Health Unit. Dupuis says the mental health unit at the hospital has been a regular beneficiary of past Sap Runs. The remainder of the money will stay in Powassan and be used for recreation. Dupuis hopes the money can be applied toward boards for the community outdoor rink. Unless something unforeseen happens, this is the last year for the Sap Run as a virtual event. In 2023 it will return as a live, in-person event. Dupuis told The Nugget he chose to go the virtual route one last time because of the many uncertainties he faced with COVID as he began to plan the event. “Ontario went through two lockdowns. Even though things looked like they were clearing up, everything could still change on a dime. With the live event, we had to have the fire department, ambulance, the people at 250 Clark and volunteers in place. But it's difficult to pitch a live event when things could suddenly change.” What Dupuis didn't want to face was organizing a live event for April, have hundreds of people sign up only to have to scale it back if the government put restrictions on outdoor events because of COVID. “So if you had 300 participants and then had to start eliminating some of them, that's a position I didn't want to get into,” he said. Although a virtual Sap Run lacks the buzz of the live event, Dupuis said there were some benefits. The obvious one is it doesn't cost as much to organize. Also, in addition to occurring during any time of the day, the participants didn't have to be in Powassan to take part. “The silver lining was that anyone in the world could take part,” Dupuis said. “In Ontario we had people participate in London and Ottawa. There was someone in Montreal and even someone in London, England. I thought that was pretty cool.” Individuals taking part in the 5K run paid $40 while those running or walking the 10K route paid $50. The registration for children was $15. As the organizer, Dupuis normally can't take part in the Sap Run when it's held live. But the virtual event gives him that leeway. This past weekend he ran the 5K distance with his family and neighbours. That included his eight-year-old son Leo. “He tries to beat his previous time each year,” Dupuis said. “This time he cut four minutes off last year's time. He ran the distance in 36 minutes and he was pretty happy about that.” Dupuis is the owner of Maple Hill Health and Fitness and created the Sap Run four years ago to raise money for the hospital and local recreation projects and to also encourage physical activity.

Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Bay Nugget

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