Thousands to participate in Envision Financial Run for Water Sunday

Over the last seven years, the annual event has raised around $1.3 million to provide clean water sources for people in Ethiopia.

Thousands are expected to hit Abbotsford's streets Sunday for the Run For Water.

Thousands are expected to hit Abbotsford's streets Sunday for the Run For Water.

One of the biggest events in Abbotsford will take over the city’s streets Sunday, as thousands participate in the eighth Envision Financial Run for Water.

Over its seven previous years, the annual event has raised around $1.3 million to provide clean water sources for people in Ethiopia.

This year’s event will raise money to help 18,000 people in the Saharan country by laying 19 kilometres of piping, and adding three spring caps, and 46 water points.

Organizers say that will allow 800 girls who would normally be occupied with retrieving water to go to school.

“$35 can get a person clean water for ever,” said Ken Baerg, chair of the Run for Water organizing committee.

Bearg said upwards 4,000 people are expected to participate in this year’s event, which includes a five-kilometre fun run, a 10-kilometrerun and a half-marathon. (No marathon is being held this year because of road construction that had been anticipated on Vye Road. That roadwork has been postponed.)

This year’s half-marathon field will include Kim Doerksen, who won the 2014 BMO Vancouver International Marathon and is returning from an injury.

The half-marathon begins at 7:30 a.m., with the 10-kilometre race beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the five-kilometre event starting at 10 a.m. Awards will be handed out at 11 a.m. All races start and finish on Bevan Road just west of Ware Street and mostly or completely circle Mill Lake Park. The 10-kilometre run heads east from Mill Lake Park towards Riverside Road, where runners turn around. Half-marathoners continue south down Riverside and run to Farmer Road, and from that to McCallum, before rejoining Riverside just south of the highway.

The race also includes an Ultra Marathon, which was scheduled to take place Saturday.

Many roads will be closed throughout Abbotsford on race day. For details, go to http://heritage.abbotsford.runforwater.ca/run/race-day.

For more race information, visit: http://heritage.abbotsford.runforwater.ca/run/race-day

Visit Abbynews.com after the race for results. For photos, visit The News’ Facebook page, or go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/myabbynewsblackpress/