Get ready to Run for Rwanda just before Bowfest

The Rotary Club's annual fundraiser collects money for young Rwandan women's education

Only one month until August 24. What does that mean? Well, Bowfest, of course, but also the ninth annual Rotary Run for Rwanda, which fits in just before the parade. The Rotary Club of Bowen Island took over the run nine years ago and scaled down the event to make it a more community run, encouraging kids and walkers to take part. All proceeds from the run go to Komera Canada, a local charity that supports impoverished but talented young women in Rwanda to go to senior high school and university. We are generously supported in this event by financial sponsors and local businesses that supply goodies and water for the hungry finishers. 

We generally have at least 40 young people between the ages of three and nine in the kids’ run. They start at the ferry dock at 8:30 a.m. and run up to Miller Road through Crippen Park and back again to the library. Everyone gets a fancy medal and lots of treats at the end. There is also a prize for the fastest girl and boy. 

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Everyone else starts at 9 a.m., although the 5 km walkers may start whenever. The route takes people through Crippen Park as far as the lake and back to the library, with 10 km runners doing a second round. There are great prizes for first, second and third in each category, among which are gift vouchers for Kintec (our running store sponsor), Artigiani Milanesi hats, Rwandan gifts and other goodies from local sponsors. 

There are three new features this year. 

A family fee of $50. This means that grandparents, parents and kids can be included in the three-to-five member group, both runners and walkers. You must sign up online by the afternoon of Friday August 23 at rotaryrunforrwanda.com in order to benefit by this feature. 

A community challenge. For this year, we are looking for the area with the most competitors and the best results. There will be a trophy that will go to the home of the self-appointed area leader each year. We have divided the island into five areas: Snug Cove and Deep Bay; Miller Road, and out to Eaglecliff and Hood Point; Cates Hill and mid-island (including Valhalla, Hummingbird Lane and Taylor Road); Tunstall Bay, Bowen Bay and Bluewater; and Mount Gardner and Grafton Bay. When you register, you can include your area on your registration form. Again, you need to sign up by Friday August 23.

Finally, we have a cool T-shirt available for only $25 by donation to Komera Canada. We issue charitable tax receipts for the donation. It reads: “Teach Her to Run and She Will Run the World” with the Komera Canada logo. 

We are hoping for a record turn-out this year, especially as the run takes place one week before the popular Handloggers Half-Marathon, so provides a good last training run. So come out and run or walk, while supporting those young women in Rwanda.

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