Runners in the eighth annual Moose Jawg break from the starting line, including eventual mens race winner Kelly Wiebe (3363). More than 400 runners from throughout the province took part in the five- and 10-kilometre races through Wakamow Valley on Canada Day. Randy Palmer photograph
Over the course of 10 years it has become a local Canada Day tradition.
From its modest beginnings, the annual Moose Jawg charity road race has grown nearly six-fold.
“In the last three or four years I think it’s grown due to word of mouth within the running community around the province,” said Dawn Luhning, race director of the Moose Jawg charity road race. Organizers ask for feedback every year to see if they can improve the race experience.
“One of the nicest compliments that’s consistent every year is how well organized it is and the second thing is how beautiful Wakamow Valley is,” said Luhning. “You’re kind of in a different world when you’re in Wakamow. That one of the compliments we receive every year ‘we didn’t even know this was in Moose Jaw. You have beautiful trails, this is a beautiful park and a beautiful valley.’”
In their nine previous years, proceeds from the Jawg have raised just shy of $40,000 for the Moose Jaw Health Foundation.
“I’m pretty happy with that,” said Luhning. “When you start with 74 runners — and last year we had 425 — it’s a pretty big accomplishment for a little race like this.”
This year the Health Foundation will be focusing its fundraising efforts on the diagnosis, treatment and on-going care of patients battling cancer at the Moose Jaw Union Hospital. Funds from the Moose Jawg will go towards providing the best new chemotherapy equipment for the day surgery unit.
Once again this year’s event will feature 5 km and 10 km runs through Wakamow.
Interested runners can register online at www.moosejawg.com or print off registrations from the web site and take them with them to register on race day.
The race will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the oval parking lot in Wakamow Valley. Registration on race is from 6:45-7:45 a.m. The entry fee includes breakfast, a technical shirt and other prizes.
The Jawg is also looking for any volunteers who might be able to help out.