The seventh annual Great Pumpkin Run and Walk is returning on Thanksgiving Monday in Armstrong, giving participants a chance to preemptively burn some calories before turkey dinner.
However, with handcrafted chocolate medals for the top finishers, as well as snacks, refreshments, costume and door prizes at this family-friendly event, calorie watchers will be hard-pressed to leave completely unscathed.
The run/walk, which starts and ends at the IPE Fairgrounds, features four divisions, ensuring entrants of all ages and abilities can take part. There are 2.5-kilometre and 5-km walks, as well as 5-km and 7.5-km runs.
Race director Ron Neden, who founded the Great Pumpkin Run in 2013, is hoping for a good turnout, noting this will be the first year that the Sun-Rype Marathon in Kelowna will be held the weekend following the Pumpkin Run.
“You can run with us as part of your taper training and still be in good shape to do one of the Sun-Rype events later,” said Neden.
Chocolate medals, which have graciously been donated by Armstrong’s Chocoliro Finest Chocolate, will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers in the Open 5-km and 7.5-km runs, as well as to the top three male and female 12 and under runners in the 5-km loop.
The entry fee for the Pumpkin Run is $15 for adults and $5 for youth (under 17), with proceeds supporting the Armstrong Food Bank and the Brown Bag Lunch Program. Runners are encouraged to sign up early to receive a free toque.
Advanced registration is available online at www.zone4.ca, or in Armstrong at the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce until Thursday, Oct. 10. You can get registration forms at Armstrong Optometry; Swanson Mountain Fitness; Armstrong Museum; and Armstrong Library.
Vernon registrants can pick up forms at Bluebird Sport and Spine, The Gentleman’s Shop and Shave Parlour and The Starting Block. You can also register at the Armstrong Farmers Market on Saturday, Oct. 12.
Final registration will be on race day (Monday, Oct. 14), from 8:30-9:30 a.m. in the Horticulture Building at the IPE Fairgrounds. The runs and walks start at 10 a.m.
Neden thanked the race sponsors for their continued support over the years: Gambrinus Malting, Rancho Vignola, Swanson Mountain Fitness, Tim Hortons, Fieldstone Organics, Fortune Creek Pharmacy (IDA), Blackwell Dairy Farm, Chocoliro, Tolko, Village Cheese Company, Bluebird Sport & Spine, Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce, Armstrong Optometry, The Brown Derby Café, The Starting Block, Country Bakery and Om Naturale.