In the final minutes leading up to the start of this year’s Goddess Run, the hundreds of 5 and 10 km runners danced to the music of Justin Timberlake.
Such was the celebratory mood for the 6th annual event which was run under sunny skies and perfect temperatures on the West Shore
Women from the Greater Victoria area, Vancouver Island and across Canada, many sporting tutus, turned out in droves for the event that’s become a staple of the West Shore’s summer events calendar.
While the runners spanned multiple generations and skill levels, all participants had one thing in common: they were here to have a good time.
Many of the @GoddessRun 5 and 10K runners have completed their trips around #Langford. Story and video to come. #yyj pic.twitter.com/vlRxne42Hw
— Joel Tansey (@joelgazette) June 4, 2017
Sisters Leanna Tyler and Maureen Robertson have participated in all six runs and took part in the five kilometre race this year.
“It’s a fun event. It’s all empowering,” said Tyler. “It’s very positive…everybody’s encouraging.”
“There’s comraderie and giving back. I love the idea of the fundraising,” added Robertson.
In past years, the pair have been joined by two more of their sisters to make this a true family affair, something that organizer Cathy Noel has enjoyed seeing since she launched the race in 2012.
“In the past I’ve had three generations of a family participating…When you have something like that and create that opportunity for people to get involved, that’s very exciting,” she said. “That’s what gives me goosebumps and that’s why we do it year after year.”
This year funds were raised for the B.C. Cancer Foundation as it strives to raise $5 million for a PET/CT scanner for Victoria. Currently only two publicly funded scanners exist in B.C., both of them in Vancouver, and the equipment is considered vital for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
#SundayFunday in #Victoria for the @GoddessRun! Congratulations to all runners! #runchat #strongereveryday #yyj pic.twitter.com/gVjwTlqKhk
— Muscle MLK Canada (@MuscleMLKCAN) June 4, 2017
“We are at $3.3 million so far which is great. People on Vancouver Island have really stepped up and are helping us get to our goal really quickly,” said Debbie Greenway, the foundation’s development officer for special events.
Langford Mayor Stew Young counted the racers down for the 8:30 a.m. start. The longtime mayor says there have been few complaints from the public regarding traffic disruptions and that the run has become one of the city’s major annual events.
“We were pretty excited when they started this event here in Langford and it’s obviously for a great cause,” he said. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm with everybody coming here from all over and we like big crowds in Langford.”
Prior to the race Noel hinted that there may be a push to get Young to don a tutu next year.
“I’ll do what I have to do for charity,” he laughed. “We’ll see. If you see me in a tutu here I hope they’ve raised a lot of money for me to do that.”
The success of the Victoria run has spawned the creation of a second event in Port Coquitlam next week. Noel also hinted that Goddess runs are being planned for the B.C. interior and Alberta for 2018.
“When you’ve got something that works it’s being able to say, ‘okay, how do we do it somewhere else’.”