Have you ever seen people run, in the hot, hot sun, down by the bay? It sounds like a line from a popular children’s song, but 385 people did run in the hot sun on Saturday for the first-ever La Baie Run in L’Orignal.
The run was organized to raise money for the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital Foundation and organizers estimated at 1 p.m. Saturday that approximately $15,000 had been raised. Runners had the option of participating in a one-kilometre, a five-kilometre, or a 10-kilometre route from a start and finish line at L’Orignal Park.
Most of the participants traveled from within a 100-kilometre radius for the event. The top finisher in the 10-kilometre run was Jean Marie Vianney Uwajeneza of Ottawa at 31 minutes and 29.1 seconds. Jason Lacombe of Hawkesbury had the best time in the five-kilometre run at 19 minutes and 17.2 seconds. In the one-kilometre run, Clovis Duval of L’Orignal finished first in four minutes and 17.8 seconds.
Seven months ago, when the weather was totally opposite to the hot and humid conditions of Saturday’s run, was when planning for La Baie Run began. Patrick Lalonde, a local physiotherapist and experienced runner and hiker first had the idea, which then developed into a seven-member committee, then more volunteers, and eventually 22 sponsors were added.
“None of this would be possible without the support of our sponsors,” said Lalonde.
With temperatures nearing the mid-30s (Celsius) on Saturday with the humidity factored in, organizers had to be prepared for the challenges of running in extreme heat.
Lalonde said they asked property owners along the route to turn on their garden hoses and lawn sprinklers so runners could quickly cool down.
The run started at 9a.m. and went until noon. It was organized that way so that people could participate the most without having to be outside in afternoon heat.
La Baie Run will be returning next year. Lalonde said that based on the satisfaction expressed by participants, a “second edition” will happen in 2020.