Kingston’s biggest weekend of races returned to an in-person event on Saturday and Sunday following a two year absence.
After being planned and ready to go in 2020, the weekend filled with several different long distance runs became one of the area’s first events to have to cancel due to COVID.
Last year, the event was able to pivot and return in a virtual capacity, having participants receiving some swag items, running independently and submitting their times online.
Although local runners and the planning team behind the event were happy to do something last year, Race Director Tara Burggraf says it pales in comparison to running alongside peers.
In 2022, Burggraf and her fellow organizers pushed ahead with planning the weekend as a series of in-person runs.
She says the team pushed ahead knowing that there’s a chance all their hard work might go to waste depending on public health guidelines.
“You kind of just have to go for it,” Burggraf said of the planning process.
She said as restrictions eased in the province, there came growing optimism that the races would get the green light.
Saturday saw two different races take place- a kids 2KM race (named after Tom Compton, a former resident who put an emphasis on breaking down barriers in sport) as well as the 10 KM run.
Sunday’s runs included the 5KM run and half marathon, which saw a local girl beating the field and actually breaking the course record.
Both the women’s and men’s 10 KM records were also broken this past weekend.
A local couple, PJ and Margie, said they have ran in the event at least ten times, and were happy to be back in person this weekend competing in both the 5KM and 10KM.
Although the weekend’s organizing team is small, just Burggraf and two other women, there were also over 50 volunteers on hand to help with the event.
Burggraf said without them, Limestone Race Weekend would not be the success it was.
“It’s the volunteers,” Burggraf said.
“Because you can organize as much as you want but you can’t be in twenty places on the same day at the same event.”
In total over 500 runners participated this weekend, raising funds for BGC Southeast (Boys and Girls Club).
The weekend’s races are part of a series put on by the Kingston Road Runners Association, with the next taking place on Howe Island May 7.