The virtual edition of La Baie Run was once again a huge success, as the event reached its fundraising goal of $25,000 for the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital (HGH) Foundation and the United Way East Ontario.

The event took place from July 23-31, and participants were able to sign up and complete their runs anytime during the week. In terms of participation, La Baie Run was sold out, with all 300 entry slots filled. From the money raised, $20,000 will go to the HGH Foundation and $5,000 to the United Way.

The total means the foundation for the local hospital will receive the same amount from La Baie Run as in 2020, despite the fact the funds are now split with the United Way. Held also as a virtual event in 2020, La Baie Run drew more than 300 participants and raised a total of $20,000 for the HGH Foundation. The initial live edition of the run raised $15,000 for the foundation in 2019.

“This is a very significant fundraiser for the foundation and we are extremely grateful for the funds,” said HGH Foundation Executive Director Erin Tabakman, who herself took part in the event.

Tabakman said the $20,000 raised from the event will help to purchase equipment for the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital.

The event was boosted by significant efforts from teams entered into the Baie Run Corporate Challenge, said Patrick Lalonde, owner of Lalonde Physio in L’Orignal, one of the organizers of La Baie Run.

Lalonde had announced in advance that he would run the entire 72-kilometre length of the Prescott-Russell Recreational Trail if the fundraising target of $25,000 was reached. He and a friend completed the length of the trail on Friday, posting about their run on Facebook just before the event ended, which was a tip off to participants that the goal had been reached.

Participants in the 2021 edition of La Baie Run were given options to complete in either 1km, 5km, 10km, half marathon, full marathon or a 72km ultra course. Distances were monitored using GPS tracking on the runners’ smart phones and once their race is completed times could be uploaded to SportStats, where the results were included in the event’s final standings.

Originally organized by Lalonde Physio, La Baie Run has grown significantly over the past three years and is now organized by a committee of local volunteers. While the funds from the first two events went solely to the HGH Foundation, organizers added the United Way East Ontario as a beneficiary of the funds from the 2021 event.

More information, photos and a complete list of the sponsors for the event can be found by visiting the 2021 La Baie Run Facebook page.

The HGH Foundation’s new Executive Director Erin Tabakman was joined by foundation staff member Natacha Jean-Louis as they picked up their race kits for La Baie Run on July 22 at Sports Experts in Hawkesbury. Photo Reid Masson

At 91 years old, Mrs. Lefebvre registered for the 5 km of La Baie Run and completed the distance in the hospital hallways during her radiotherapy treatments! Submitted photo