The Kleefeld Honey Run exceeded expectations for the 5K run on Saturday morning.
“When we first started, the first year, we hit just over 100 runners and now this year we're up to 284 registered,” reports Race Director Veronica English.
She says they had hoped to reach 250 runners and would have considered that to be a sold-out event.
“And we just had a flood of emails and messages and phone calls this past week, asking if people could still register and I didn't want to turn them away, so we are past sellout,” she says with a grin.
This event attracts athletes from all over the province, with many runners returning year after year. What makes this event so popular?
“There aren't very many races that are just five kilometres,” English explains. “Many would be maybe a 5-kilometer option with a half marathon, marathon, 10K. Because we're a small town, we wanted to have something that was family friendly and had the ability to be a competitive race. So, a 5 kilometer is a really good option for that. And something important for us is that we always wanted it to be affordable for families. So, our price has always been $15 a runner and we have special family rates as well. So, with that, people can come and run their entire family almost for the price of one entry in a larger city race.”
The event attracts competitors of all ages.
“I think the youngest on the course today might even be my son. He's five years old,” she says. “And the oldest is someone who’s 86 years old. So, there's a large span.”
Even with the low registration fees, the Kleefeld Honey Run has been able to accumulate funds to enhance the local park.
“We do have a lot of very generous sponsors who make the event possible. But over the course of five years, six years, we have had a little bit of a profit in the bank, and we partnered with Cornerstone Timber Frames, and we now have a beautiful gazebo and fire pit in Kleefeld beside our outdoor rink.”
Even before the race began, English and her team were already talking about plans for next year, considering ways to improve the event.
Highlights from today Kleefeld Honey 5K Run.♬ Shout Out (No Vox) - Chris Alan Lee
Results from Saturday’s race:
***** MALE OVERALL RESULTS FOR Kleefeld Honey Run 5K *********
1 Samuel Vincent 14:36
2 Steffan Reimer 16:14
3 John Coffin 16:56
***** FEMALE OVERALL RESULTS FOR Kleefeld Honey Run 5K *********
1 Jaala Van Dongen 19:45
2 Renata Doerksen 20:10
3 Carmen Crouch 20:15
First place winners receive a $100 cash prize along with a 10-pound pail of honey. Samuel Vincent picked up an additional $100 for beating the fastest 2023 Manitoba Race Association 5km time which was 15:00.
-With files from Carly Koop.
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