Greenways trust has dreams of a Campbell River marathon

To raise awareness of the Greenways Loop – a trail that circles the city

Greenways Land Trust is hosting an inaugural fun run this fall to raise awareness of the Greenways Loop – a trail that circles the city.

The Frogger 15km is a friendly, non-competitive race which will raise money for a local charity – Greenways Land Trust which was established in 1996 and works to create and manage the city’s greenways networks, as well as teach the community about conservation.

The non-profit is mostly run by volunteers, who put in more than 1,700 hours in 2012 to work on community projects that improved the city’s greenspaces.

Erin Nowak, operations manager for Greenways, said the race will take place Sept. 21 and start and finish at Spirit Square. Participants will head west down 16th Avenue, south down the ERT Road to the Beaver Lodge Lands Rail Trail and return to Spirit Square via the same route north to the finish. The race is open to runners of all levels and relay teams.

“The goals of Frogger 15 is to raise money for a local charity, raise awareness of the 25 kilometre Greenways Loop, attract people to the downtown core and promote responsible recreation,” Nowak said.

The Greenways Loop is a recreational trail around the perimeter of Campbell River, that includes the Beaver Lodge Lands, the Sea Walk and the Jubilee Connector – a 2.5 kilometre trail along Jubilee Parkway and Highway 19A. The connector links South Dogwood Street to the Campbell River welcome sign. The final stage of the Greenways Loop is designed but awaiting funding. It will continue from the welcome sign to the current end of Rotary Sea Walk at Maryland Drive.

Nowak said participants will be asked to pay a nominal fee to take part in the Frogger 15km and the goal is to have the registration fees annually cover the majority of the event costs.

Coun. Claire Moglove wanted to know if Greenways is considering turning the Frogger into a marathon.

“It would be a great attraction on a provincial scale. I don’t think there are any marathons that run through a trail,” Moglove said. “I have to say that a fun run and 15 k in the same sentence is an oxymoron.”

Nowak said the ultimate goal is to turn it into a marathon, but right now that isn’t feasible without having the final stage of the Greenways Loop complete. Greenways’ goal is to have 250 people sign up for the race.

Greenways launched the new event in January when it kicked off a community contest for the best logo. Heather Magee was the lucky winner, and her logo will be used to promote the race.