Sarah and Sophia Gilks receive their cinnamon bun from Ladysmith Striders volunteer Gayla Hunter on Sunday. (Mike Gregory Photo).

Sarah and Sophia Gilks receive their cinnamon bun from Ladysmith Striders volunteer Gayla Hunter on Sunday. (Mike Gregory Photo).

Ladysmith Striders hand over Cinnamon Bun Fun Run to LRCA

The 12th annual Cinnamon Bun Fun Run raised $1,550 and and 3,000 lbs of food for the LRCA food bank.

The Ladysmith Striders have grown the Cinnamon Bun Fun Run (CBFR) from a small local race supporting the food bank to a hot-selling family event attracting participants of all ages from across the Island.

Now, the running group is handing over the reins of its hugely successful sticky-fingered race going forward to the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association.

The 12th annual event on Dec. 3 was a transition year with LRCA shadowing in 2016 and doing the majority of the organizing this year. It was another major success.

“We’re handing this event off to them (LRCA) and it makes so much sense to invite them to take this event over,” said Mountain.“They’ve been the recipient of the Ladysmith food bank food for all these years.”

This year’s CBFR attracted 454 runners and walkers on race day, covering either the 5K or 10K distance.

RELATED: Results from the 12th annual Cinnamon Bun Fun Run

“It’s a Sunday morning, people are up early and they’re coming from all over the Island to be here,” said LRCA board president Marsh Stevens.

As has become custom in recent years, all 600 available entries were gone when registration opened on Sept. 1 in about 50 minutes.

“I think it’s reflective in the people that have come up and talked to me today and they’ve told me that this is just such an awesome family and friends event,” said Mountain.

The CBFR takes a unique twist on a traditional race and asks participants to predict a finishing time. Rules state no watches or timing devices such as cellphones are permitted on the course.

Carol Townsend improved on her fourth overall placing from last year to finish within 0.58 seconds of her original guess on Sunday. She stopped the clock at 54:22.

Young Noah Robertson placed second only 2.44 seconds off his predicted time of 26:21.

Joel Heyes, competing in his fifth CBFR, was 2.77 seconds off his time of 29:13.

All were happy to relax afterwards while sipping coffee and eating their treat courtesy of Old Town Bakery.

Back in 2006 the Striders organized two runs, one in January and the other in November that attracted 66 people and started from Coronation Square.

The two races were then amalgamated and things slowly began to snowball.

“I think it was 2013 that this event exploded and we had 850 people register and this building (Frank Jameson Community Centre) only holds 499 so since then we’ve capped it,” Mountain said.

Over the past eight years there have been 3,965 CBFR participants, raising 34,640 lbs of food and just shy of $24,000.

“It’s grown from a bunch of friends who run together on a Sunday morning and wanted to do something for the community and so this is what we came up with,” he added.

This year’s totals were down slightly with 3,000 lbs of donated food and $1,550 in cash donations, including a $1,250 cheque from the United Steelworkers Humanity Fund.

Stevens said there’s two sides to these types of fundraisers that provide great benefit to the community.

“There’s the goods and the cash that’s raised and then there’s the awareness for the Resources Centre,” he said.

“It’s the type of event that we really like because we get a lot of volunteers out, a lot of people out and it creates a lot of stir, maybe even tweaks some interest for a new volunteer or someone who wants to donate regularly.”

Special thanks was extended to corporate sponsors LCU Insurance Agencies, Frontrunners, Old Town Bakery, Ladysmith & District Credit Union, PAR4 DJ Services ideaLEVER Solutions and Starbucks.

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