Five races to try in Manitoba this year (2014)

Happy springtime, fellow runners!

Though I had (mostly) a good time training through the long, dragging winter, I am happy to say that now is the time to sign up for spring events! Signing up early means you save on early bird fees, you don’t have to worry about the race selling out, and you motivate yourself to get out there and train. Since marathons/runs are non-refundable, I understand that it can be nerve-wracking to sign up for a race far in advance. For me, signing up early is the best motivation to train possible. However I always promise myself that I won’t push my body on race day if I’m simply not ready. No matter what race we’ve signed up for, we must listen to our bodies before trying to get our non-refundable moneys worth.

So without further ado, here are my top five runs to try this season (in order of race date):

 Royal Canadian Air Force Run

Winnipeg is home to many flight operations support divisions and several training schools. Its primary RCAF lodger unit is commonly known as 17 Wing Winnipeg. To celebrate the culture of fitness within the Canadian Forces, the Royal Canadian Air Force Run takes runners of all ages and abilities through the base and along the RCAF flight line in an annual race. The website says everyone receives a medal directly from one of our members in uniform. The event also features a post-race barbeque.

  • Race day: May 25, 2014
  • Events: Half marathon, two-person relay half marathon, 10 kilometre race, 5 kilometre race/walk
  • Early bird fees end: April 25, 2014
  • Proceeds: go toward supporting ill and injured troops and their families
  • Register here:

Manitoba Marathon

It’s the biggest marathon in Manitoba, attracting around 14,000 participants from around the world, so you’ve probably heard of it. But I can’t make a list without this event. The Manitoba Marathon is just something you have to experience if you live here. The grand scale of the event, the new Investors Group stadium, the side street entertainment that shows up year after year…it’s a wonderful experience that happens every Father’s Day. My Dad and I have run in one event or another for at least ten years. I feel like I’ve grown up with this race and it’s such a classic Manitoba event that I recommend to anybody.

  • Race Date: June 15, 2014
  • Early Bird fees end: April 20
  • Events: Full marathon, half marathon, relay, 10 k, Super Run (2.6 miles), Mini Mites (non-competitive event)
  • Proceeds: Go to supporting projects for people living with intellectual disabilities.projects for people living with an intellectual disability.
  • Register here:

Paws in Motion

Is there anything better for the soul than spending your day with hundreds of cute dogs, puppies and other animals? The Fairmont Winnipeg Paws in Motion is an annual walk-a-thon for people and their pets that supports the Winnipeg Humane Society. The event takes place at Assiniboine Park and features a 3 kilometre or 1.5 kilometre option with “Paw Stop” activities, treats, and watering holes along the way.

Grand Beach Sun Run

Grand Beach has long been a Manitoba landmark with it’s white sand beach stretching over 3 kilometres long. This well-kept beach happens to be home to a beautiful sun run in toasty-hot July. Choose your distance for a leisurely fun run that takes you through the Grand Beach community including 1.5 kilometres of running on sand.

Electric Donkey

If you haven’t heard the term EDM, you may be living under a rock. Or you’re not a night-clubbing twenty something. Regardless, the recent explosion of electronic dance music has slowly been fusing with the other recent explosion of novelty 5ks. Colour me Rad ring a bell? Well Colour Me Rad didn’t make my list this year (it’s so last season) but Electric Donkey did! From the makers of Dirty Donkey Mud Run and Ice Donkey run comes the next big thing in larger-than-life races, a 5 kilometre glow run. According to their Facebook page, projects for people living with an intellectual disability.projects for people living with an intellectual disability.the run goes down at dusk. It starts at The Forks and ends at Memorial Park for a 5k full of awesomeness, music, lights, and memories you’ll never forget.

There are so many more races to check out, this are just my top five picks. Check out the Manitoba Runners Association website for a whole list of other races to check out year round: