Icebreaker enjoys record engagement

By Don Fennell

Published 1:43 PST, Tue January 21, 2020

Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Wed May 12, 2021

With the festive season having passed, it was time to work off some of the holiday cheer. 

The Steveston Icebreaker 8K road race proved the perfect tonic, with the added bonus of supporting KidSport Richmond in the process.

With the cold snap that gripped the West Coast thawing by the weekend, race day Sunday (Jan. 19) featured typical conditions with a forecast high of 7 degrees.

For the region’s ardent running community, the annual Icebreaker is one of the more popular events on the circuit. The beauty of the course, coupled with the focus on supporting youth, always makes for a good turnout.

“The Icebreaker was a resounding success with record registration—472 for the 8k and 71 for the Kidsrun,” explained race director Jared Hulme. “A huge thank you to the City of Richmond for helping make sure the course was safe for all the participants (after last week’s snowfall).”

Hulme also appreciated the efforts of the 100 volunteers who donated their time. They included members of the Richmond Kajaks Track and Field Club, the Forever Young team, the McMath Secondary School’s Leadership class, and the city’s I-Can-Help volunteer program. Richmond businesses also ensured the event was successful, notably New Balance which stepped up to again sponsor the second annual 1K KidsRun. 

“(The event) has had a tremendous impact on the community in many ways,” he said. “Just the other day, I was chatting with some students from Dixon Elementary that are on an Icebreaker/KidsRun training group at their school with Kajaks’ coach and teacher Rachel Maika. Because of the success, West Richmond Community Centre has partnered with the Kajaks to run an Introduction to Track program.”

Hulme said embracing a physical activity, such as running, has so many positive benefits. He said it’s “awesome” to see the popularity of running continuing to grow in Richmond.

Maika echoes those thoughts.

“The reason we wanted to include an event just for kids is to promote a lifelong love of fitness, and living a healthy lifestyle,” she said. “The New Balance KidsRun is not only a fun and exciting event, but it gets kids moving in our local community.”

New Balance Richmond owner Jordan Cluff was thrilled to again step up as a sponsor.

“New Balance emphasizes sponsorship of community events and, in particular, events that promote active, fun and healthy living for children and adults,” he explained. “Due to the large volunteer base that is provided by the Kajaks, the Icebreaker is a well-run event that is loved by participants and reflects well upon its sponsors.”

“As one of our premier fundraising events, the proceeds made from the Steveston Icebreaker 8K will go directly towards supporting our athletes,” noted Garrett Collier, head coach of the Richmond Kajaks Track and Field Club. “Whether it’s for our younger athletes in the Junior Development program, or future and current national team athletes, the race was a great way to support the community and our aspiring and inspiring athletes." 

Recognizing their efforts, each kids’ run finisher received an inaugural New Balance kids’ run ribbon. There was also a free run, jump and throw demonstration by Kajaks’ coaches after both runs, where children could get coaching tips.

All the proceeds from the KidsRun—$1,000—will go directly to KidSport Richmond, which helps children overcome the financial barriers of participating in sport.

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