Four years ago, a small group of founding members of Abbotsford’s Run for Water had a modest goal of setting up a high-calibre 5k, 10k and half marathon run in support of clean water projects.
In 2011, the Abbotsford run has become the third largest event of its kind in B.C. with more than 3,500 runners participating on the last Sunday in May as well as an addition of a Boston-qualifying marathon. And the Run for Water has now expanded into Calgary and Ontario with plans for Edmonton to be added in 2012.
On Saturday Sept.10, more than 800 runners and walkers gathered together in Calgary for the first annual Run for Water, an initiative born in Abbotsford in 2008.
“It was an amazing day for Run for Water,” Abbotsford race director Kelly Neumann said.
“Ken (Baerg), Rob (Quiring) and I were there to cheer them on and provide support where needed.
“Their board led by Jen Gibson did a terrific job, and we are proud to be associated with them.”
Abbotsford Run for Water board members are hopeful this is the first step in spreading Run for Water across North America.
“The more runs we have, the more money goes to getting clean water to the people in Ethiopia. That is our priority.
“The fact we can do that while holding enjoyable events with inspirational people is a bonus,” Baerg added.
The Run for Water Calgary run raised over $46,000 for Hope International, which will use the money for clean water systems in the Bonke region of Ethiopia.