“I definitely know that the entire endurance world is ready to get back to true normal with events and training, but our C3 Canadian Cross Training Club have been incredibly lucky during this 18 month pandemic,” said their head coach Barrie Shepley.
It’s taken some courage and planning and extra resources, but Shepley’s Caledon Ontario based club has actually grown its membership and event participation during the pandemic. “We were one part lucky and one part courageous,” said Shepley. Last year when almost every race got cancelled, Shepley kept the four-decades-old Egg Nog Jog going. The race was moved to a new location and used a format of 25 runners starting the 5km run course every 30-minutes for nearly two days. “We had 36 waves start over two days, but 900 plus runners got to do the 2020 C3 Nuvo Iron Egg Nog Jog,” Shepley said.
People were literally crying at the starting line because they were so happy to be back participating with their friends. 2021 has been a bit closer to normal, but many race directors ether cancelled their events again this year, or scaled them back. Shepley and the C3 Nuvo Iron Egg Nog Jog are even more excited for their upcoming event on December 5. They are going to have 50 people every 30 minutes for the entire race day. “It’s a big burden on our volunteers to be out there for 12 hours ensuring a safe, fun event, but we are committed to giving every participant a world class experience,”said Shepley. New this year, C3 will be recognizing the incredible career of Hamilton’s Reid Coolsaet. “I use to coach at McMaster in the 80s and I know how important Reid has been to Ontario and Canada’s running scene,” said Shepley. “Two Olympics, three sub-2hour-11 minute marathons and the tens of thousands of people Reid has inspired in his two decade long career,” said Shepley.
C3 and Nuvo Iron will be buying Christmas dinners for needy Ontario families in Reid’s name. “Reid has given so much to the sport and we want to show him how much the running community appreciated his great career,” said Shepley. Every participant gets an incredible thick winter hat, as well as a great finishers medal, post-race food, five year age categories and all the VIP treatment that C3 can muster on Dec 5th. The event is held at the Woodington Lakes Golf Course just north of Toronto. Also: the famous Jessey the Elf is back and he plans on running in all 18 waves all day long on the big day.
C3 took over the Egg Nog Jog five years ago when the Georgetown Runners retired their club. “We had to move the event due to road closures for two years and then we’ve had two years of the pandemic,” said Shepley, who would love to sell out the entire 2021 Egg Nog Jog to allow them to make more Christmas Supper Donations to needy families and to get as many people out to sign the big Reid Coolsaet poster that will be at the finishing line. “We know we are not 100% out of the woods yet with the pandemic, but we believe with our many safety protocols and the 50 people per wave, everyone can feel safe, have a great 5km run, get into the Christmas spirit and recognize Reid Coolsaet’s incredible career,” said Shepley. Anyone who has registered by Nov 26th will have their names on their race bibs. Register now at www.c3online.ca