We have always had hockey, softball and many other athletic activities, and many, many years ago sporty Watson Lake originated the infamous Tour de Liard Bike Race.
More recently we have had snowmobile races; But we are overdue for another event in which people may challenge themselves to win honour and recognition while non-participants watch and are inspired.
Kevin Foley, principal of the Johnson Elementary School in Watson Lake, has been a runner most of his life, running several marathons over the years, including the legendary Boston marathon. In order to support his habit of running a half marathon in early summer, he and some like-minded residents have put together the first-ever competitive run to be hosted in Watson Lake.
There are already marathons to be run in the Yukon, but they are run in late June, early July, and August. Foley wanted an earlier date and it seemed logical to start one here. There is a population of runners already living in the town, and it will be a healthy, inexpensive activity to encourage, especially among the youth.
The recreation centre staff have gotten on board, and the date for this event has been set: June 13 will see the runners gather to compete for medals and glory.
The start for the half marathon (21 kilometres, for those non-running readers) will be at the recplex at 9 a.m., with the 10 kilometres and the three kilometres beginning at 10 a.m.
The three kilometre is for everyone; walkers, cyclists, skateboarders and roller bladers, with the idea being to simply enjoy participating – no sweat necessary.
There is to be a spaghetti dinner at the recplex at 6 p.m. for all those registered.
The registration forms are available at the recplex, or at Johnson Elementary School: $10 to register, $10 for dinner and $10 for a T-shirt. For $25 one may get all three. The telephone number is 536-2080. For those who have the foresight to register early, there is the promise of medals. For all runners there are draws and prizes on offer.
So far, the interest has been heartening; about 50 runners signed up for the half marathon and the 10-kilometre run, some from other Yukon communities.
The desire is to have this event become an annual one, so everyone is encouraged to sign up for a run and help make it happen. Audiences with a readiness to applaud are also encouraged to turn out in support of this welcome new endeavour.