Bill's Trail Run returns for sixth season in Lacombe

Bill's Trail Run participants pound the pavement around Cranna Lake during last year's run. This year's Bill's Trail Run takes place this Saturday, Oct. 5. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

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Get ready to hit the trails in Lacombe this weekend as Bill’s Trail Run returns for a sixth year.

This year’s run will take place Saturday, Oct. 5 at Cranna Lake, and Bill Nielsen Trail Society members and run organizers expect they’ll see over 400 participants pounding the pavement – and natural trails – through the community.

“We’re still going strong doing our memorial run for Bill,” said Diane Hayduk. “We guarantee we’ll be over 400, and of course our 100 volunteers….We’re really impressed that people still want to come .”

The run was started to honour the late Bill Nielsen, a Lacombian who championed running and maintaining trails throughout the community and served as the first race director of the Woody’s Marathon held annually in Red Deer. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but kept running as long as he could until he died at age 73 of pancreatic cancer.

Now his legacy is recognized and carried on through the Bill Nielsen Trail Society and Bill’s Trail Run, which is one of the few runs that gravitate towards natural trails in the area rather than paved ones. Last weekend, the society was out making sure the trails were clear in preparation for the event.

“The trails look awesome and it’s going to be a lot better of a weekend than we had last weekend – it’s supposed to be sunny, so we know what to expect with weather,” said Hayduk. “There’s a lot of new people, which thrills us because we love showing off our trails and making people jealous of what we have here.”

Those registered can pick up their race kits on Thursday, Oct. 3 from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Red Deer Running Room, Friday, Oct. 4 from 5-7:30 p.m. at Lacombe Composite High School, and on race day, Oct. 5 from 8-9:30 a.m. at the school.

The 10-Miler will start at 10 a.m., with the 10K and 5K happening at 15-minute intervals afterwards. The family and Team 2K will begin at 10:40 a.m.

Those living along Woodland Drive, or use the road as part of their commutes are asked to avoid the road as they will stop traffic to allow runners across the street.

Medals will be handed out to the first, second, and third-place finishers, as well as age category medals. Awards will be at noon.

After the race, a small meal will be provided for participants, while finish line refreshments will be provided by Blindman Brewing.

“We cater to our runners and we cater to our volunteers and make it a big party for everybody,” Hayduk said.

For more information, visit billstrailrun.com. A link to the registration page is also available on the website.

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