Niagara-on-the-Lake will be the site of its first Canada Day five-kilometre run this year, brought to town by the same folks who hosted the Santa Run in Simcoe Park last November.
It’s the VR Pro Canada Day run’s 15th anniversary, and is expected to attract about 300 to 400 runners and walkers who will leave Since Park from the Byron Street entrance.
“We are super excited to be in NOTL and have our inaugural Canada Day race there,” says Kelly Arnott, co-founder of VR Pro.
The number of Canada Day runners would typically be higher, but with July 1 falling on a Friday, many regular participants are away at cottages or have other travel plans for the long weekend, she says.
The run will be raising funds for the Niagara Health Foundation, to contribute to the new Niagara Falls hospital build.
She is very grateful for the great support the run is receiving, including from the town.
The first event of the day will be the Kids 1K race, which will start at 8:40 a.m. July 1. Parents and families are encouraged to participate in this event with the kids.
The next event will be the Canada Day 5K race which will start at 9 a.m. and is open to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities. The route will take participants along the scenic walking trails of NOTL, and through Niagara parks, Arnott says. Everyone who participates in the race will get a crystal finisher medal, a Canada Day celebration T-shirt, and more, the race director promises.
Runners and spectators will be encouraged to attend the Rotary breakfast in the park, she says.
VR Pro hosted an inaugural Santa five-kilometre in NOTL in December, in collaboration with The Irish Harp, with hundreds of runners and walkers dressed in Santa suits.
“Our Niagara-on-the-Lake Santa 5K was such a success that we wanted to put on another race in Niagara-on-the-Lake as soon as we could,” said Arnott. “We are excited to be working with the town and local businesses once again to host our Canada Day 5K.”
VR Pro Inc. has hosted running events in the GTA and beyond for over 25 years, and has contributed more than $3 million to local charities, including Joseph Brant Hospital.