On the run for healthy causes

Running promotes good health in a couple of ways this spring in Maple Ridge, as joggers can lace up their shoes to benefit...

Running promotes good health in a couple of ways this spring in Maple Ridge, as joggers can lace up their shoes to benefit local health care initiatives.

Despite the driving rain, there was a good turnout for the 17th annual Vistas Run on Sunday.

The largest single fundraiser for the Ridge Meadows Hospice Society garnered close to $13,000 this year, and in total has raised more than $300,000 over the history of the event.

The run features 10-kilometre and five-km races, and a four-km family walk that accommodates strollers and leashed pets. It starts at Webster’s Corners elementary and goes through Kanaka Creek Regional Park.

The fastest runner in the 10km event was 20-year-old local hockey player Madison Sands, who covered the course in a time of 41.23.

Also impressive was 67-year-old Ted Hedrik of Maple Ridge, going under the hour-mark in a time of 57:06. That placed him in the middle of a pack of 23 runners.

Local realtor and hospital goundation board chair Ron Antalak was the fastest over the five-km course. The 51-year-old covered the distance in 21:42, almost two minutes ahead of the second-place finisher. He was first in a field of 67 runners from across the Lower Mainland who braved the elements for the race.

In total, there were 118 registered participants in the three races, and organizer Kathryn Shiratti, the hospice society’s special events fundraising coordinator, said that was a “wonderful turnout” considering the weather.

The next big charity run on the calendar is the 11th annual Fund Run, which benefits the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation.

The event goes on June 1 at 9 a.m., at Fairview elementary, and also includes five- and 10-km distances, which participants can walk or run. There is also a fun kids run for those 10 and under.

There will be food and prizes after the race, and for every $100 in pledges that a runner collects, their name will be entered in a grand prize draw.

The money raised is used to purchase new hospital equipment and fund other high-priority needs at the hospital. Over the previous 10 years, it has raised more than $240,000.

Race-day volunteers are needed.

Individuals or teams can enter by May 21 at a reduced rate.

• See www.rmfoundation.com for pledge forms, registration forms and other information.