WALKERTON – Run4Health 2021 lived up to its reputation as a happy and healthy community event to raise funds for the Walkerton and District Hospital Foundation.
Even the sun came out to shine on the event as crowds gathered to participate – or cheer on the participants – in the new half-marathon, the 10-km run, 5-km run, 5-km walk or 1-km family walk/run.
This year marked a return to a more normal format after last year’s virtual event, with groups of runners and walkers departing from the agricultural building parking lot amidst cheers, taking a well-marked route, and returning, again with plenty of cheers from the crowd.
Some of the participants ran in family groups, while others ran as clubs. Colourful didn’t begin to describe the event – tie-dyed T-shirts for participants, orange shirts for volunteers. When it came to shoes, it was a case of anything goes.
Although some participants were in it for the fun, others were serious about running, as the times showed.
Cody Shewfelt of Port Elgin came in first in the new half-marathon, with a time of 1:20:30. Jared Bourque of Corunna took first place in the 10-km run with a time of 38:50. Cohen Martin of Hanover was first in the 5-km run with a time of 16:13. First place in the 5-km walk went to Jenn Morgan of Durham. For complete results, see the Run4Health website.
There were plenty of concessions to COVID-19 safety measures. While in the staging area, everyone had to wear masks, although participants could remove them once they were out on the route. All participants and volunteers had to complete a health survey two days prior to the event.
While it will be some time before the final amount raised is known, last year’s 10th annual event raised a remarkable $27,500 despite COVID-19.
As of press time, this year’s 11th annual Run4Health total stood at $15,100.04 and counting.
The Foundation is currently raising funds for the purchase of a new mammography machine. The $485,000 that’s being raised will replace a machine that is a key tool in screening for breast cancer.
The new machine will replace the one that was purchased in 2008. Because of its age, there is frequent downtime. Repairs take an average of two days to complete. The service agreement on the machine expired on Aug. 31.
The new machine is state-of-the-art and will allow for potential program enhancement to provide a three-dimensional view, and allow injection of dye to highlight blood vessels.
Since the Foundation was incorporated in 1994, community support has helped raise over $5,800,000.
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times