When Dawn Luhning launched the Moose Jawg 13 years ago, she didn't expect it to grow the way it has.
© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
Matt Johnson, right, races out to the lead at the 12th annual Moose Jawg Charity Road Race.
"We were hopeful, obviously, that it would be a success," she told the Times-Herald Monday. "But really, I could never have imagined the awesome support from the sponsors, community and runners in general who come out each and every year, and who say it's a great event, lots of fun and that they love to be involved."
The first Jawg had just over 70 runners, Luhning noted. Last year there were over 600 in the Moose Jawg itself, and another 100 "Runt Run" participants.
"We gave back more money last year than we ever have to the Moose Jaw Health Foundation," said Luhning. "It grows every year, that's for sure."
This year, and in years in the near future, Luhning said she was expecting the race to continue to grow because it won't be falling on a long weekend when people are away on vacations.
"I'm hopeful we are going to get up to 650 or 700 runners," she said.
Of course, with all of those participants, the heat is on to find more volunteers; the larger the race, the larger the demand for manpower.
"We are still looking for volunteers," confirmed Luhning. "It's an early morning and that is what is always kind of a little off-putting … (but) if anyone wants to give a helping hand to the Health Foundation and help us out, it's usually a beautiful morning down in (Wakamow Valley) and we'd love to have them."
The race is also looking for any businesses who may want to donate a prize for the runners, "but volunteers are the biggest thing," she said.
For her part, Luhning will bow out from the race — a practice she has done for the past few years — to make sure that everything runs smoothly and she can be available if there are any difficulties to be worked out.