There were over 70 runners out on Saturday for the fourth annual JLB Memorial Kettle River Run, which raises money for the BC Cancer Foundation of the Southern Interior.
Chantelle Funk from the BC Cancer Foundation ran this year and Rose Boltz, the matriarch of the Boltz family and a Red Hatter, was also present to see the race and cheer everyone on.
“This run is about the family trying to do something for the people that we have seen at the BC Cancer Foundation that need help,” said Stephanie Boltz, director of the Midway Public Library. “Like the woman who was there getting her chemo and could only afford to have Carnation instant breakfast because she couldn’t afford anything else and get treatment.
“It is about us trying to give something back to the people of the Boundary who are getting their treatment at the BC Cancer Foundation of the Southern Interior.
We are hoping that people will use this run as a memorial for their loved ones and continue to keep this run going long after I am here,” said Boltz, who had started the run four years ago in honour of her husband who lost his battle with cancer in 2009.
“I want to thank the Credit Union for their participation and donations as well as all the donations from all of the other donors,” she said.
In past years the run has used only the riverside portion of the Midway Hiking and Biking Trails. This year the mountain trail network was incorporated into the 21K route – adding a new dimension to the run, which organizers hope will attract dedicated athletes in future years.
The best time in the 21K was under two hours on the grueling hill run in the heat.
In the week preceding the run, Trails Society volunteers Ross Elliott, John Greaves, Ken Essery and Paul Fromme looked after grooming the mountain trails and carried water up the hill to help keep the runners hydrated on run day. The village works crew prepped the riverside portions.
Many members of the Boltz family come to Midway each year to help organize the event. They are joined by many volunteers who help on run day including John and Jan Kohlhauser, Thinh Atkinson, Lynda Anderson-Thibault, Brenda Wilkinson (from Kelowna), Pam Balzer, Jean Carpenter, Don Mallech, Tony Pearce, Gary Maletta, Harry Stoochnoff, Ian March, Teresa Coburn, Nica Ponenteau and Naleen Barchuk.
Boltz also thanks the organizers of the Kettle River Day for their support, along with the many locals who participate in the event to support the library and the cause. Midway’s new doctor, Marilize Naude, was on standby in the event medical help was needed. “As in the previous three years we had generous donors; however, this year we need to especially recognize Doug McMynn, Heritage Credit Union and employees, the Bored Room Bistro, South Beach Style Studio, Allisen and Wayne Sargent and the Kelowna Running Club.”
Boltz said that next year would be the fifth anniversary for the run. “The people who benefit are the people who need help with emergency funds or new drugs right here in our area,” she said.
“This was a very inspirational event for me, because of the people who have returned to support the event, the new ones who came this year and, especially, for the participant who ran the 21K – a victim himself of cancer and thought that it was important!”
“We didn’t meet our goal of $12,000 in pledges but we raised about $8,000 – maybe next year for our fifth anniversary!”
Only registration monies are designated to the library to pay for the cost of the event. All of the money raised through pledges and In Memory donations goes the BC Cancer Foundation.
Fastest times for the three distances this year were run by:
5k – Bill Danyluk – 0:24:25
10k – Samuel Nolin – 0:49:17
21k – Eveline Kroschinsky – 1:55:10