Howe Island: Gorgeous, friendly and fast!
Organizing a running event is similar to training for a running event in a number of ways. It takes dedication, a bit of obsession, a lot of hard work, the support of family and community… and, beautiful weather certainly helps. The inaugural Howe Island Hustle 8K event which took place on Saturday May 7th had all those components (and more) and came together so smoothly and enjoyably, it’s like The Hustle always existed.
130+ runners (kids and adults) navigated the ferry with ease, to arrive at the beautiful location on Howe Island. Howe Islanders were fantastic hosts as the main volunteer crew, pulling out all the stops to make runners and their families’ visit most enjoyable. Fire trucks flashed and managed traffic (thanks to Howe Island Fire and Rescue) and food abounded on the pristine south shore of the Island.
The first race was the Kids 1-Mile Run drawing runners from 12 years down to toddlers. All the children receive an excellent race kit of toys courtesy of Toy-Sport Agencies. As well, all top five finishers are invited to contact Limestone Mile Race Director to receive FREE race entries to Canada Day Limestone Mile.
Top 5 Kid finishers
- Leo Kilburn (M10)
- Thomas Coulter (M8)
- Sophie Saunders-Lambert (F9)
- Willow Breadner (F9)
- William Kerr (M6)
Full Kids race results can be found here.
Immediately following the Kids Race was the main event. The 8K Hustle had 107 runners take on the challenge. Comprised mostly of local participants, runners did arrive from as far as Montreal and St. Catharines to race. Conditions were warm with a bit of a west wind providing a nice breeze on the 4km out and a helpful tail wind on the 4km back.
Much of the course hugged the Island’s south shore for an almost distractingly beautiful vista. Though the course was fairly flat, there was one challenging hill about 2km from the finish, where much of the drama unfolded as some runners used it as passing point.
Once again, Runners’ Choice coach Al Cantlay’s influence could be seen as the top two competitors duked it out for a one-two finish. While our beloved Twosome Race Director Kevin Webster held the reigns for much of the race, upstart Jeff Shepherd came from behind and battled him for the win.
Top 3 male finishers
- Jeff Shepherd (30:18)
- Kevin Webster (30:38)
- Sebastian Scott (30:55)
Top 3 female finishers
- Veronica Allan (30:39) < 3rd overall
- Beatrice Cigagna (31:10)
- Suzanne Kerr (31:55)
The consensus by runners was that course was fast (don’t worry, it was triple measured) and there were more than a few personal bests set.
Following the race, a fantastic barbecue was served including choices from the grill, salads, desserts (with East Side Mario’s own Dan Lambert at the helm) and iced cold beer (complements of another sponsor, Steam Whistle Brewery) which went down very easy on such a warm sunny day.
Awards were distributed to top finishers, along with many giveaways. Thanks to photographer genius, Peter Stokes who documented the entire day, capturing the very positive community vibe.
Be sure to visit Peter’s photos here. They are amazing.
KRRA President Lana Saunders managed the Hustle as Race Director like a pro, bringing together two communities (runners and Howe Islanders) for a memorable experience. Profits from the event are going to the Howe Island Baseball and Recreation Fund, to bring basketball to the island.
Special thank you’s go out to all the volunteers, runners, fans and families who attended. And of course, the day wouldn’t have been a success without support by generous sponsors (as yet mentioned): Runner’s Choice, DrugSmart Pharmacy, the Ferry crew, Novellis, Running by Design and to the residents of Howe Island who welcomed our invasion.
(editor: Now you’ve done it. We’ve discovered your beautiful Island paradise and we’ll be back next year for Howe Island Hustle 2017 or possibly sooner.)
If you liked the Howe Island Hustle, you’ll love the TRI-island Race Mini-Series. Run the Wolfe Island Classic and the Wooly Bully Run on Amherst Island this summer and receive a special medal ONLY for those who participate in all three island events.
The KRRA’s next race is the Canada Day Limestone Mile event. The roads are closed, there are three races in the morning: Kids, Women, Men. It’s fast, furious and fun. Build a team. New this year: medals for Masters (40+) for top three men and women. Registration opens very soon.