First Fun Run in Barriere welcomes “running family”

Everyone mentioned that they will be back next year.

Wes Kibble

Wes Kibble

To the editor;

The 1st Annual Barriere Fun Run took place on Sunday June 3, with 65 registered participants running and walking 5km and 10km routes through the streets and trails in Barriere.  We had a few hiccups that we will call growing pains.

There were three main reasons for creating the Barriere Fun Run. First, to introduce running or walking, along with a healthy lifestyle, to Barriere residents. Secondly, to show people a different part of Barriere, since most people just stop for gas or drive by on the highway. The third was to have a non-points race where runners could run with their friends, visit after with fellow runners that they have not seen in a while and meet new friends that they could include into their “running family”. I was standing on stage after the race, watching the runners and walkers mingle and laugh with each other and realized that we totally accomplished that.

There were runners from as far away as Vancouver, Texada Island and 100 Mile House that made the Barriere Fun Run part of their vacation while visiting family and friends in Kamloops and Barriere.

I am particularly proud of the Barriere runners and walkers. Honestly, I never knew that there was that many fast runners in town! Barriere residents claimed first place in seven categories in the 5km and 10km races. In the Female 10km event, five of the seven fastest overall times were by Barriere ladies. Patricia Thompson was the fastest overall 10km female, followed by Michelle Lampreau, Lindsay Allan, Melanie Lennea and Carol Keating. Meanwhile David Tremblay was the second fastest person overall in the 10km. Natalie Gower was the first Barriere resident in the 5km, followed by Chris and Kathy Mathews.

The competition was tough, as a lot of the runners from Kamloops are regular participants in the Interior Running Association series. Being that I am a mid pack runner, I am just as proud, or even more proud, of the Barriere runners and walkers that were a little farther back in the standings. I hope that they continue running and walking after the race. It is amazing what it does to your energy levels, self esteem and health.

I would like to thank the volunteers for all their hard work on race day. There was concern that we were going to be running a skeleton volunteer crew during the event, but we saw a lot of unexpected volunteers on race day. Without the volunteers, this event never would have happened. I may not have had the chance to thank each and every one of you personally during or after the event, but I want you to know how much we appreciate your assistance in making this event a success.

A huge thank you goes out to Ben Thiessen for allowing us to use the trails on his property. The 10km runners raved about the trails and I honestly know that the trails on the Thiessen’s property were a huge part of the reason why people want to return next year. Another thank you goes to the District of Barriere for allowing the Barriere Fun Run to use the bandshell and Fadear Park, as well as allowing us to use the streets of Barriere for the race.

Donna Kibble and the North Thompson Volunteer and Information Centre fed the participants with not only regular post race food like bananas, but also with chili and chili dogs. We received some great comments from runners appreciating that we had the option of vegetarian chili.

An event like this would not be possible without sponsors. Running Room Kamloops store manager Rick Jenkner not only provided support through Running Room, but also showed up very early to help with race setup and was one of the last people to leave. Natalie Gower of Barriere supplied us with the Barriere Fun Run logo as well as designed the event posters. North Thompson Star /Journal provided us with advertising and articles about the upcoming event. Views By Linda Photography captured some incredible images of the runners, some of which we will be using in our marketing next year.

The Kamloops Ridge Runners not only showed up by the dozens to participate in the event, but lent us a lot of the equipment that we needed to put this event on. The pylons and signs that you saw guiding runners around town were theirs, and we are eternally grateful for their support.

Speaking of the Kamloops Ridge Runners, Kathy Wilson is one of my co-race directors for the River’s Spring Run Off and Blackwell Dairy Run in Kamloops. She is more involved than myself in the registration and timing at these events, as well as others throughout the Interior. I admit that she has a lot more experience in those matters and she was a life saver by overseeing race day registration and timing of the Barriere Fun Run.

My brother, Charlie Kibble, deserves another big thank you. Not only has Charlie volunteered as the sound man at some of the other races I am race director for, but he has travelled with me to watch or volunteer at races I was participating in. His input into the Barriere Fun Run was invaluable, as was the labour he put into it over the last six months.

Lastly, thank you to the residents of Barriere. I realize that having a running event through your neighbourhood on a quiet Sunday morning may have been an annoyance or inconvenience.

There was some great involvement from Green Tree Estates, such as “You Can Do It” chalk writing on the road. I hope that we can see more of this next year! I also appreciate everyone that slowed down when passing the runners and walkers.

They say that the first event is the hardest, and judging from the positive comments we received from participants, the 1st Annual Barriere Fun Run was a success. Everyone mentioned that they will be back next year and we already have ideas on how to make the next event bigger and better. We will be forming a race committee in January if you would like to become more involved in the Barriere Fun Run.

Wes Kibble

Race Director

Barriere Fun Run