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For the first time in a decade, runners will have a chance to lace up and enjoy a scenic run between the University of British Columbia Okanagan and Okanagan College, thanks to the return of the popular campus-to-campus half marathon and relay race.
The run will commence at UBCO at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 4. From there, runners will follow a scenic 21.1 km route down the Okanagan Rail Trail to the Waterfront Trail, before finishing up at the College’s Kelowna campus on KLO Rd. Registration is now open at www.okanagan.bc.ca/campustocampus.
For runners not looking to tackle a half-marathon, there will once again be a relay option. Teams of four can register, with each runner completing various distances.
“In its inaugural return to the ‘campus-to-campus’ format, this run aims to unite students, faculty and staff of both campuses with the local community for a celebration of the Okanagan region,” explains Nikki Reiter, Race Director and Manager, Academic Health Initiatives, Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic for UBCO.
The run is back following a two-year hiatus. It was last offered in 2017 as an out-and-back half marathon and relay race originating from the College’s Kelowna campus. The last time it followed a course between the campuses of UBCO and OC was 2009.
“The depth and breadth of collaboration between the two institutions over the past ten years, since the race was last run between our campuses, is remarkable,” says Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College. “This is a fitting time to bring back this format, as a way of celebrating that collaboration and highlighting the impact our students, staff and alumni collectively have on the region.”
Following the race, runners and guests will be treated to a gourmet BBQ at the College, prepared by students and staff from OC’s Culinary and Pastry Arts program. The celebration will also include music, prizes and tastings by local wineries, craft breweries and cideries.
“With our long history and shared DNA, both UBCO and OC have a proud tradition of creating links between our institutions, covering everything from academic bridging programs to research collaborations,” says Deborah Buszard, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UBC Okanagan. “It is only natural, then, that we should come together to celebrate those connections and to create one more through the newly revitalized Campus to Campus Run.”
Reiter explains that celebrations of campus connections with each other as well as with the wider region will be the motivation for organizers and runners alike.
“From showcasing the beauty of the local environment by taking runners down the Rail Trail, to embracing sustainability by ensuring we achieve as light an ecological footprint as possible, to serving up local cuisine prepared by the College’s Culinary Arts students, our goal is to highlight what an incredible place the Okanagan is to live, work study – and run!”
The run is also a chance to get active for a good cause.
As in years’ past, proceeds from the run will go back to students, in the form of awards and bursaries.
Individual registration for the run costs $25 if completed online in advance (or $35 on race day) and includes a food and beverage ticket for the post-run celebration and BBQ. Relay registration is $100 per team ($25/person) and also includes a ticket for each participant to attend the celebration. Those looking to attend the celebration only can pick up tickets for $15 each.
The first 150 registrants will also receive a free Campus to Campus Run t-shirt.
The campus-to-campus will be a “rules of the road” run, meaning that there will be no road closure points. Participants will be expected to follow pedestrian rules of the road, crosswalks and intersections.
To register, and for more information, visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/campustocampus.