With the great weather upon us, we’re usually full steam ahead preparing for one of our key events of the year, The Beaches Jazz Run in Toronto. Unfortunately, the live events are still not going on. I really thought we’d be live this year after last year’s event was forced to become Virtual.
As a runner myself, I so miss the live events, mostly the head to head racing, but also, the energy, excitement and maybe most importantly for events like ours, the camaraderie among the running community.
As a race director, I miss it even more. Those who know me know how hard I work to make our events the best they can be. We put on top-rated events, especially as far as small to medium races are concerned. I like to consider our races as being geared towards exactly what the runners want. Switching to virtual makes these hard attributes to match. But we are trying.
The virtual race scene is very saturated right now, with most of the standard longtime running events still happening as well as many new ones being offered, trying to make up for the fact that most events are running at 30-40% sales of what they normally would be. This is leading to fatigue among the runners and that percentage is dropping.
Racing we will persevere and with the 2021 Beaches Jazz Run, we’ve tried to spice things up a bit with a few events that go beyond just running one race and be done with it. We have a weekly running series (starting soon!) where runners can enter performance results weekly, similar to beer league hockey, and results will be tabulated over the course of 8 weeks, taking the individual’s five best performances. This way if they miss a few weeks, they’re still eligible for the overall standings.
We also have the return of the Provincial Pass. Where a team of four combines their mileage to cover the distance of crossing Ontario (1568km). First team to do it wins—but, given our limitations during COVID, many just do it to challenge themselves. And of course we have the standard Jazz Run one of events of 5k, 10k and 21.1k. All runners, regardless of event they choose, will earn one of our best medals yet, plus fantastic tech t-shirts and of course, the feeling of helping one of our main charities, The Michael Garron Hospital Foundation, supporting their front line workers.
The runners and this charity are why we keep going! More info and registration can be found at www.beachesjazzrun.com