Organizers excited for return of Spring Sprint in the Beach after three-year absence

A runner crosses the finish line at the 2019 Spring Sprint. The annual run is a fundraiser for the Beaches Recreation Centre, but it has not taken place for the past three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After three years of not being able to take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Spring Sprint is back in the Beach and runners will be hitting the Boardwalk on Saturday, April 1.

Since its inception in 1987, the Spring Sprint has been a major fundraiser for the Beaches Recreation Centre.

The event is organized by the Beaches Recreation Centre Advisory Council, and money raised goes to programs at the Williamson Road centre.

Spring Sprint 2023 Race Organizer Sarah Hendershot said the run is an important community engagement and fundraising event for the Beaches Recreation Centre.

“It’s our biggest source of fundraising for the centre. The money goes straight back into the centre,” she said.

“It pays for special events like the pancake breakfast, upgrades around the centre, such as our summer patio, the mural in the gym and lots of other things.”

Hendershot said that after all the challenges of the past three years, organizers are happy to see the Spring Spring make its return.

“We are so excited to be able to bring back the Spring Sprint,” she said.

“There will be some changes this year, but much of the race will remain the same and the price ($25) will stay the same as it was three years ago. No inflation for the Spring Sprint this year.”

For 2023, there will be two-kilometre and five-kilometre walk/runs along the Boardwalk. The races are usually broken down into categories of a five-kilometre run, a five-kilometre walk, a two-kilometre walk and a two-kilometre run for children.

The Spring Sprint starts and finishes on the Boardwalk near the Silver Birch Boathouse at the foot of Silver Birch Avenue. The route goes west along the Boardwalk and then circles back along the Martin Goodman Trail.

Hendershot said the event has become a seasonal tradition for its many participants.

“I think the Spring Sprint is a tradition within the community. It’s one of the first races of the year, as the weather is just starting to warm up,” she said.

“It’s a signal to many of us that spring is on its way. As a child I ran in the very first Sprint Sprint, and now my kids run in it as well.”

Hendershot emphasized that the event is for participants of all abilities, not just serious and/or competitive runners.

“It’s for all types of people, young and old. We have had everyone from the seasoned runners to the walkers, and even the youngest competitors, who may not finish, but that’s OK. It’s for everyone.”

Registration for this year’s Spring Sprint takes place in person at the Beaches Recreation Centre, 6 Williamson Rd., on March 21, 22, 29 and 30 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Cost to register is $25. Registration is done in person so participants can have a chance to see the facility they are helping to raise funds for.

The registration includes a t-shirt which have become collectibles for some residents.

The event usually draws hundreds of runners, and as such the Beaches Recreation Centre is in need of volunteers to help out with this year’s Spring Sprint — both on race day and with registrations.

“If running isn’t your thing, we are also looking for volunteers to help make the event run smoothly. Those interested in volunteering should leave their name at the (Beaches) Recreation Centre,” said Hendershot.

For more info on the 2023 Spring Sprint, or to volunteer, please visit the Beaches Recreation Centre – Advisory Council Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/people/Beaches-Recreation-Centre-Advisory-Council/100057641762082/


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