Brockville Canada Day run may look different, but still forging ahead for a good cause

The Brockville Road Runners are hosting a Canada Day walk/run in support of the Brockville and area Food Bank. (Nate Vandermeer/CTV News Ottawa)

In years past, the Brockville Canada Day Run has always been a success, with over 250 runners gathering for the event in 2019 along the Brock Trail in the north-end of town.

This year, however, it will look different, with COVID-19 restrictions in place for large gatherings.

“Its always a group start, so we wanted to maintain the same starting time so we had to go outside of the box, so the front door (of your home) became the start point,” said event coordinator Ed Eby of the Brockville Road Runners

This year's event is a walk/run called “Together, Individually.”

“Together meaning we’re all out at the same time, individually, we’re doing our own distancing,” Eby said.

“So now you have people walking out their front door, all over the city, turning left and doing 1k or 5k. What’s nice about this year is that there is no restrictions about strollers. People can bring the whole family including their pets,” added Eby

And it’s a great way to keep physically distanced.

“They are not all running the same course which normally we would be doing on Canada Day,” said Tony Barnes, a Road Runner member, and treasurer of the Brockville Food Bank.

When you resister for this years run, all proceeds will go to the Brockville Food Bank.

“The registration fee that would have normally spent buying a (Road Runners) t-shirt, those funds are going to the Brockville and Area Food Bank and that’s a great place to donate money at this point and time,” Barnes said.

Theresa Sosnowski from the food bank says they are grateful for the partnership and this year's donations will help even more

“With COVID and all that, we’re finding that our clients are having a hard time even buying shampoo and stuff like that,” Sosnowski said.

“The Road Runners, last year they reached out to us to donate as well. When they did their run the donations they got from that they gave it to us,” Sosnowski added.

“I’m just grateful for anything, and I’m glad how they’re doing it. You start out at your own doorstep. Its very inventive.”

Kathy Easter is a runner who has already signed up for the event.

“Do a loop around your street for 1k or 5 loops for 5k or go as long as you want or as short as you want," Easter said.

She also noted that this year runners aren’t being timed, so there is no pressure.

“If you want to go and exercise anyway why not make it count towards a larger goal and donate $5 or $20 (to the food bank)!" Easter said.

With most festivals and events cancelled on Canada Day, Eby says it's something the whole family can do.

“Everybody is expecting nothing, and so here we got an event and people I tell it to say ‘oh really! There is something going on!’” said Eby.

“It's a great way to remember the day, commemorate Canada Day and feel good about yourself that you helped the food bank,” added Easter.

The event starts at 10 a.m. on Canada Day at your own front door, and sirens will sound across the city signalling the start.

“I encourage everyone to come on out. It's going to be a great community opportunity. There's going to be a lot of bell ringing and a lot of siren sounding and hopefully a lot of fun and a lot of money raised for a really good cause,” added Barnes

Registration for the event is quick and easy, with links on the Brockville and area Food Bank or Brockville Road Runners websites.