WATCH ABOVE: The third annual Lethbridge Regional Police Service run took over the streets and coulees on Saturday, benefitting a worthy cause. Erik Mikkelsen caught up with some of the runners at this year’s event.
LETHBRIDGE – More than 480 runners braved the smoky forecast for the third annual Lethbridge Regional Police Service run in support of the Special Olympics on Saturday, Aug. 29.
Lethbridge ‘Free the Fuzz’ raises funds for Special Olympics
“Charity runs are the best kind of runs to do, because you are doing something you love but still contributing to a good cause,” said runner Danielle Burger.
LRPS has had a long standing partnership with the Special Olympics. This event gives people the choice of a five-kilometre, 10-kilometre or half marathon to run. The LRPS also participates in the law enforcement torch run across the nation every year.
“We had Special Olympic athletes coming out here and they were running with us right alongside with the other runners,” said Constable Kara Hagen, one of the LRPS organizers. “We have some at the finish line putting medals on the finishers. We have a really good relationship with the athletes and they love coming out and we love doing this for them.”
Smoke travelling up from fires in the northwestern United States had some participants worried about the running conditions.
“A lot of my friends came down from Calgary and Red Deer to run the half or the 10-k but ended up dropping down to the 5-k just because it was so smoky yesterday morning,” said Burger. “But, then today it’s beautiful so everyone’s a little sad they dropped down, but the 5-k is still going to be awesome; it will just be a little fun run for everybody.”
Hagen said the smoke couldn’t scare away last-minute runners.
“The weather came through for us, it cleared up – smoke’s gone and we have 485 people,” said Hagen. “We even had some last minute registrations yesterday and this morning.”
The details of how much money was raised will be released in a few weeks, but organizers said this year’s registration numbers are the highest of all three years.