Laurel Sliskovic insists she’s no runner.
But watching her steady gait as she jogs up Hilchey Road you’d never know it.
“I just started training on Sunday,” Sliskovic says. “I’m planning to run three to four days a week. I’m just running slow, I’m not racing by any stretch of the imagination.”
While getting into shape is an added bonus, there’s a greater motivation for Sliskovic to keep up her new running regimen.
She has committed to run the Frogger 15K, a fun run hosted by Greenways Land Trust to raise awareness and funding for the completion of the 25 kilometre Greenways Loop – a pedestrian and cycling route that circles Campbell River and includes the Beaver Lodge Lands, the Sea Walk and the Jubilee Connector.
The final stage of the loop is designed but awaiting funding and is intended to stretch from the Campbell River sign at Jubilee Parkway to Maryland Drive, where the Sea Walk ends.
This year marks the third annual edition of the Frogger 15 K which takes participants from Spirit Square to the ERT Road, through the Beaver Lodge Lands and back to Spirit Square. This year’s run takes place on Saturday, Sept. 19 and registration for the event has just opened.
In years past, Sliskovic has volunteered with day-of set up at the Frogger 15K and helped out at the relay transition area. This year she’s decided to tackle the challenge head-on and run the entire course.
“It’s definitely a challenge but it’s fun and I already feel like I’m part of a new club,” Sliskovic says. “It’s encouraging me to get outside and be active. I ride my bike, I’m a fairly active person but I haven’t ever run. It’s kind of a personal challenge but also to raise the awareness of the race and to let people know that anyone can start running.”
Sliskovic has been a supporter of Greenways Land Trust, a charitable organization established in 1996 to help maintain the Beaver Lodge Lands, since she moved to Campbell River two and a half years ago.
She began volunteering with the organization after recognizing the work Greenways does to protect the local streams, nature trails and other natural areas and critical habitats.
“Greenways does a lot of great work for the community and I was looking for volunteer ways that I could give back,” Sliskovic says. “We had talked about them wanting to raise the profile of the Frogger 15K. Last year there were just over 100 participants and they want more people to participate.”
As an ambassador for the run, Sliskovic is posting weekly progress updates on her training on the Greenways Land Trust Facebook page. She’s also posting tips for runners, whether it be items she’s researched online or advice she’s gotten from others.
“I read online that if you’re trying to get into running it’s a good idea to commit to a race,” Sliskovic says. “It’s just that added level of commitment.”
And for those starting out who may find it a bit too daunting to tackle 15 kilometres, there’s a relay option. Instead of running the entire 15 kilometres, a team of three can sign up with each participant running five kilometres of the route.
Anyone interested in registering for the event can sign up online through the Greenways Land Trust website at www.greenwaystrust.ca
The run begins and ends at Spirit Square where there will be community booths, music, an awards presentation and a salmon barbecue.
Early bird registration (until June 30) is $55 for individuals and $150 for a relay team which includes a race t-shirt. Costs to participate without receiving a t-shirt are $45 for individuals and $120 for a relay team. Registration after June 30 is $65 per individual and $180 per relay team (with race shirt), and $55 for individuals and $150 for a relay team without a shirt. Registration closes on Thursday, Sept. 17.