Some 4,000 participants will gather on May 27 at Centennial Park to take part in Abbotsford’s Run for Water.
More than 500 runners will take on the event’s half marathon. Many will be happy to break the two-hour barrier, some will try for a personal best, and yet others will run with a pace bunny group to hit a certain time.
One runner is on track to break the course record of 1:10:13 held by Jeremiah Johnston. Former Canadian Team runner David Jackson is on schedule to run a 1:07 if everything goes well.
In the 10 years Jackson has run competitively, he has lived and trained with an elite group in Victoria, but moved to Abbotsford two years ago.
Some highlights from this world-class runner are finishing first for Team Canada in the 2009 Toronto Marathon and running his best half marathon of 1:06.30 in Newcastle, England. Closer to home, he has finished sixth overall in the Sun Run and won Harry’s 8K, a run in Vancouver that is part of the Canadian Running Series.
Jackson teaches at MEI, where he is helping coach the track and field team.
“I want them to enjoy running and try their best, rather than worry about the pursuit of winning,” he said. “Hopefully, a lot of them will run the 5 K at the Run for Water. It will be nice to participate in a hometown event with them.”
Jackson joined teachers around the Lower Mainland who are teaching lesson plans developed by Run for Water, to help solve the water crisis in Ethiopia through Envision Financial’s Envision a Better World; Learn, Create, Run program.
“We are happy to see elite runners join in our run,” race director Kelly Neumann said. “We may see up to 700 people join in the half marathon if our projections are correct. Our registrations are up this year, and we are on track for record-breaking participation all around.”
To sign up or volunteer for this hometown event, please go to www.runforwater.ca.