Runners limbering up for loop around the lake

Barb and Riley De Ruiter high five near the finish line at last summer
Barb and Riley De Ruiter high five near the finish line at last summer's Run for the Mountain at Westwood Lake Park.
— image credit: GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Nanaimo runners should be getting stretched and ready for a lap around the lake.

The ninth annual Run for the Mountain six-kilometre run/walk event is just a few weeks away, slated for Sept. 13 at 9 a.m. at Westwood Lake Park.

The race is a fundraiser for Nanaimo and Area Land Trust’s Mount Benson Wilderness Park. The mountain provides the backdrop for the race’s scenic lake setting.

"We've had a beautiful summer and [we're] always kind of looking up at our mountain and seeing how beautiful it is," said Mike Thibodeau, race director. "Everyone's huffs and puffs and lefts and rights are working together to keep awareness of it and raise some funds for NALT and the park."

Race winners get more than just first-place accolades – depending on their age divisions and gender, category winners will be celebrated as the King of Westwood, Queen of Westwood, Prince of Westwood, Princess of Westwood, Emperor of Westwood and Empress of Westwood. Runners can also put a team together and try to become the Empire of Westwood.

Last year a Nanaimo teen, Peter Oxland, was first to the finish line. Thibodeau said it's been nice to see some of the community's youths grow up along with the race.

"There's definitely been some of our high-school athletes here in town that are progressing every single year, so you don't know who's made leaps and bounds in the last 12 months," Thibodeau said. "It's [interesting] to see who's going to be the first person out of the woods."

Early-bird registration this month is $20, or $5 for youths 17 and under. To register, please visit or stop by Frontrunners on Turner Road.

For information on how to participate in the Saucony keychain contest to win a pair of running shoes and a race entry, please click here.

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