A little rain will not stop Tillsonburg Multi-Service Centre's 5th annual Trail Walk and Run on Sunday, May 29.
Last year, however, they had hard-driving rain and high winds, forcing the 2015 event on The Carroll Trail to be cancelled. Some people still ran the course, said Angela Newson, chair of the Trail Walk and Run committee, but for the average participant it was just not practical.
"Usually rain doesn't stop an event like this from happening. But it was cold and raining sideways, lots of wind. So we decided to cancel it last year unfortunately. We just want to make it to be safe for everyone – it's a family event and we don't want kids out there in that kind of weather."
The good news is they reserved a day of excellent weather in 2016.
"Absolutely," Newson laughed. "Surely it can't happen two years in row."
If a worst-case severe weather scenario does happen again, as unlikely as that may be, they have a contingency plan in place this year. The following Sunday, June 6 has been reserved as their backup date. But if it's just a rainy day, said Newson, they will definitely go ahead as planned on the 29th.
On the day of the event, relevant information – if they need to postpone – will be posted on the Multi-Service Centre Facebook page and website.
"Only if the weather is highly uncooperative. We've had really good weather before last year. The one year was a bit chilly when we had it in September, but really we've been blessed with good weather so far. Except for last year."
The MSC Trail Walk and Run features two trail courses – a 2-km low difficulty route (no hills), and a 5-km medium difficulty route (some hills). The longer route, consisting of a scenic section of the Trans Canada Trail, is full of 'beautiful vistas' and has several bridges to cross. It's a unique trail that crosses a portion of The Bridges at Tillsonburg golf course.
Race highlights include free T-shirts to the first 100 entrants. Post-race refreshments (barbecue) for all participants. And family-friendly activities including bouncy castle and face painting.
Runners, walkers and families of all ages and abilities are encouraged to join the fun. It is a race – they do keep track of times – but if you would like to walk the course, that's okay too.
Awards will be presented to the top individual male and female finishers, as well as new 'congratulatory' medals for those who run a sub 20-minute 5 km. Team awards will go to the top parent/child team, corporate team, athletic team, spouses team, and school team. All teams must register by mail or drop-off.
Trail Walk and Run attendance has increased each year, said Newson, and they hope to increase it again this year. Cost is $30 (minimum donation) to pre-register, or $35 on the 29th. Children 12-and-younger are free.
There are several options available for registration. Sponsor pledge sheets are available and all donations will go to the Multi-Service Centre and Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario. Over the past four years they've raised $18,000 for the MSC and Parkinson Society thanks to sponsors and participants.
You can mail your completed entry form to the Multi-Service Centre in Tillsonburg (attention Tina Klassen), 200 Broadway, Suite 206, Tillsonburg, ON, N4G 5A7.
You can drop off your registration at the MSC, same address (Tillsonburg Town Centre, 2nd floor).
You can register online at www.runningroom.com until Wednesday, May 25.
Or you can register at the event on the 29th (cash or cheque) between 9-10 a.m.
For more information, contact race registrar Tina Klassen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-842-9008 ext 205.
The event, which starts and finishes in the Kiwanis Coronation Park, begins at 10:30 a.m.