Multiple generations enter Giant’s Head Run

The Giant’s Head Run isn’t just a community event. It’s proudly become a family experience.

Diane Pew holds the Giant’s Head Run registration forms for herself

Diane Pew holds the Giant’s Head Run registration forms for herself

The Giant’s Head Run isn’t just a community event.

It’s proudly become a family experience.

I ran into Diane Pew as she registered several family members this past week.

She explained she’s run the race for more than 20 years.  Ever since moving to Summerland from Osoyoos in 1991, she’s been in the race.

It has metamorphosed over the years. She started running the 5.4-kilometre course, then ran the 10-km a couple of times.

She ran it when her two daughters Kelsey and Kendall were in Grade 4 and 7.

At that time, they did the children’s Man of Steel triathlon, and husband Jon, would join all of them for the 5.4-km run together.

“We thought it was a really good community event,” she said. “We just moved here and the people were so friendly.”

“I think my children were sports minded already, but we had never done a family race.  We all really enjoyed it.  Of course, I was last.” she said. “When I turned 65, I started to run.  It was my goal.  I did a half marathon in Kelowna that year too.  But I didn’t like being last.  I did the 10km Giant’s Head Run a second time, and I was second last that time,” she recalled.  “Now my four-year-old granddaughter, Kamryn, will run with me. She ran with me on the last bit on my half marathon in Kelowna last year. We were hand in hand through the finish line.”

What Diane might not realize, that to her granddaughter, whether she finishes first or almost last, she is a positive role model and inspiring.

I am sure it was a memorable proud moment as they crossed the finish line together and quite possibly there were emotional onlookers in the crowd.

I find it always a tearjerker when I see the little ones running through the finish line with mom, dad or grandparents nearby.

Getting the whole family active, and motivated to lead more active healthy lives is such a positive element of our community.

With more than 700 participants at the starting line, the atmosphere is energizing.

Although many are competing for a time, most are enjoying the friendly race as they cheer each other on and take part in a positive community event.

With great T-shirts, medals to top three finishers in 22 different categories, and more than $2,000 worth of draw prizes, the Giant’s Head Run is always a highlight of the Action Festival Weekend.

If you want to cheer on the runners on Saturday, June 6, the race begins at 6 p.m. at the Library on Wharton Street and finishes in front of the Aquatic Centre on Kelly Avenue.

Early bird entry fees for the Giant’s Head Run and Man of Steel Triathlon are available until Friday May 29. You can register online at www.runningroom.com or in person at the Aquatic Centre.

Joanne Malar is the program coordinator for Summerland Recreation, three-time Olympic swimmer, 2012 Olympic Commentator, kinesiologist and holistic nutritionist.