Quad muscles flexing, calfs screaming for relief, pulse beating like a drum, the Hill Dash is coming up next weekend and what better way to put your ‘heart’ into supporting Ladysmith’s Heart on the Hill.
Following the exhaustive feat is the excitement of the Running of the Balls as hundreds of coloured plastic balls are released out of the back of a truck and race back down High Street as entrants have a chance at three cash prizes valued at $500, $300 and $100.
“This event has always been about having fun, getting locals and tourists into the downtown core and helping raise some funds for the Ladysmith Resource Centre Association (LRCA),” said Hill Dash organizer Rich Huggins.
“We’ve always tried to have something for everyone. Whether you walk, run or crawl High Street, it’s great to talk about your “Hill” experience over some post race food and drink. Or bring a lawn chair to come watch and buy tickets for the Running of the Balls from your favorite spot on High Street.”
Hill Dash, which takes place on June 16, follows a relay format as individuals run up High Street from 1st Avenue to 3rd Avenue and then roll a ball back down the road to their teammate who picks it up and does the same until all four team members have finished.
There is male, female, co-ed, and new for this year is a family division. To enter the latter, teams need to have at least 2 kids who are 12 and under on the day of the race. Kids six and under can also try out a shorter Hill Dash course for free and receive an A&W root beer for their efforts.
Also watch for the new bouncy castle in the John Surtees KidsZone. For adults, Riot Brewing Co. will again have a beer garden open at Spirit Square beside the LRCA. All ages are welcome but ID is required for beer.
Every person who registers for Hill Dash also automatically receives an entry into the Running of the Balls as well as a beer and burger, served by the Ladysmith Kinsmen Club.
The Ladysmith Resources Centre Association’s executive director Shannon Wilson said the partner events “promote active lifestyle, community spirit and support the day to day work” of the non-profit charity.
“Hill Dash and Running of the Balls is a fantastic partnership and what I love about it is the energy it creates,” said Wilson.
“The teams are excited with anticipation of the challenge, and it is a huge challenge, and everyone watching is so supportive as each runner sprints up the hill. I love that the community comes out to watch, with encouraging cheers all the way up the hill.”
Every year the rainbow sea of balls amassing at the bottom of High Street and First Avenue delight crowds.
“Last year, we dropped almost 1000 balls. This year let’s double that,” exclaimed Wilson.
Tickets to enter only Running of the Balls are $5 and available in person at the Ladysmith Resources Centre (630 – 2nd Ave), or at Active Solutions on First Ave.
Tickets will be on sale on the weekends outside our local grocery stores, or you can send an e-transfer to the firstname.lastname@example.org.
Huggins said the teamwork and partnerships formed by the two events is a highlight of the annual event as well as the enjoyment of participants.
“The look on peoples faces when you describe the event to them is pretty great,” he said. “The uniqueness of the entire event is something that enjoy though and to help raise funds for the LRCA is really what it is all about though.”
Registration for Hill Dash closes on June 14. For more information see the event website here. The race starts at 11 a.m. with the Running of the Balls at 12:30 p.m.