Government of New Brunswick

The centre will be holding a half-marathon throughout Sussex and Sussex Corner at the end of May.

KAYLA BYRNE - KINGS COUNTY RECORD

SUSSEX -- The Crosswinds Occupational Activity Center, a centre for people with physical and mental challenges, always does something for New Brunswick’s Disability Awareness Week, which runs from May 31 until June 6. This year, the centre has kicked things up a notch.

To start off the provincially recognized week and raise some money, they will be hosting a community-wide race. The sprinting affair is planned for May 31 from 8 a.m. until around 12 p.m.

Recently, race organizers Stacy Geldart and Jennie Powell sent out letters to the Sussex and Sussex Corner councils asking for permission to hold the event because racers will be trekking through both municipalities.

“We’re always out fundraising, so this is our latest initiative,” Geldart said.“Jennie and I started running last year and are really enjoying it – we thought this would be something well received in the Sussex area.”

Both municipalities unanimously approved the race, but Sussex Corner wanted to know more about the event. They invited Geldart and Powell to their last council meeting to make a presentation.

The event has three different distances: a five-kilometre race, a 10K race and then a half-marathon, totalling 21 km. The 5K race will remain in Sussex while the 10K will loop around Sussex Corner and back into Sussex. The half-marathon is similar to the 10K but ventures out into Roachville and back down Sussex’s Main Street.

Both Geldart and Powell believe the half-marathon will be a real draw for running enthusiasts. If the fundraiser is a hit, they’re hoping to make this an annual event.

“If you had told me a year ago that I was going to run a 10K, then I would have said,‘No way,’ but I’ve done it and I didn’t have to stop or fall over. It’s something fun that challenges people – you’ll be surprised at what you can do,”Geldart said.

Sussex Corner Mayor Steven Gillies said he thinks the event will be well received, and the village will do whatever they can to help out.

The village has donated a few pallets of water and also signed up to be a bronze sponsor.

Crosswinds is calling on other businesses and community members to step up and become a sponsor or make a donation. The race has gold, silver and bronze sponsorships up for grabs.

Only three people can claim bragging rights of a gold sponsorship. The plan is to name each race after a gold sponsor. Right now, PotashCorp New Brunswick is the only one with the gold title.

“Not everything has been decided yet, but it would something like the PotashCorp 10K or something like that,” Geldart said.