Logo for Run Surrey Run posted to facebook.com/runsurreyrun.

Logo for Run Surrey Run posted to facebook.com/runsurreyrun.

Inaugural Surrey run/walk/roll starts virtually with ‘wherever you can’ message

‘Registration has gone very well, and we’re happy with where it’s going,’ race co-ordinator says

Your location, your distance, your pace, your time.

This is the pillar on which Run Surrey Run is built for its inaugural run this spring, as a virtual 5K/10K run/walk/roll.

An in-person event was planned to get off the ground a year ago, in 2020, but the pandemic forced postponement.

For 2021, organizers with Balsar Community Foundation made the decision to launch it virtually during the two-week timeframe of June 1-15, with an entry deadline of Tuesday, May 25, via runsurreyrun.com.

For $25, registrants will receive a T-shirt, a medal and some recognition for being part of a new community event in Surrey.

“Registration has gone very well, and we’re happy with where it’s going,” said race co-ordinator Gurjinder Bhurji. “People still have time to sign up, and it looks like we’ll get to around 500 (registrants). Our original goal was for 2,000 people last year, so with 500 we feel that’s a great start with a virtual run.”

She said those who sign up can run, jog, walk or roll on a road, trail, treadmill, gym, track or wherever else they want.

“One person wanted to do it on an elliptical, and that’s fine,” Bhurji said. “Some will do a two-day thing, it’s up to them. We’re hoping people send in a screenshot or photos of them doing it and post their time.”

In recent weeks, former Surrey mayor Linda Hepner has been training with Bhurji to complete Run Surrey Run, as a walk.

“I’ve been out there walking because I’ve been so sedentary over the past two years, really,” Hepner said, “and Gurjinder has helped motivate me by walking, and gotten me up early in the morning. We go to Serpentine Fen and measure the distance each time, she’s great. She’s my de facto trainer. She’s not aggressive and knows the pace I can do with my lungs, and she’s awesome.”

Hepner gives Bhurji “high marks” for co-ordinating and launching the run/walk as a virtual event.

“It’s tough, but I think once people realize that they can do the distance on their own, and even on more than one day, the interest will escalate,” Hepner said. “Surrey is certainly a city that can have a run like this, on its own, outside the Vancouver event.”

• RELATED STORY, from February 2020: New ‘Run Surrey Run’ event on downtown city streets.

Ultimately, the hope is to hold Run Surrey Run on a road circuit that showcases Surrey’s downtown area, perhaps in 2022. With the start/finish at Holland Park, the five-kilometre route is posted to the event’s Facebook page (facebook.com/runsurreyrun), along with photos of event supporters including politicians, business leaders, police officers and others.

Royal Bank of Canada serves as a community partner of the event, with Surrey Board of Trade a marketing sponsor.

“We’ve had some great support,” Bhurji said, “and people see that we don’t have anything like this in Surrey, an annual run, and this virtual run is a great introduction for people. I’ve had so many people reach out and ask about the event, how to get involved, and they’re excited it’s happening. People are seeing it.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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