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Soiree 8K a good choice for newcomers and veterans alike

Participants of the 2022 Kelligrews Soiree 8K Road Race cross the starting line. Pictured is Shoreline reporter Mark Squibb.
The 2024 race, sponsored by Time Hortons, will take place on July 6.

By Mark Squibb

The Tim Hortons Kelligrews Soiree 8K Road Race is an excellent choice for experienced runners and newcomers alike.

At eight kilometres, the race is half the length of the Tely 10, which will likely make it appealing to newcomers, but the route is not without challenges — the steep climb up Kelliview Avenue in the final stretch is particularly daunting.

The route also winds along the scenic shores of Conception Bay and through many quiet neighbourhoods — quiet except for the folks who stand roadside to cheer runners along, and God love em’ for it.

I ran the Soiree in 2022, finishing with a chip time of 48:50 and placing 48th overall out of 110 participants. I reckon I will do the same this year. I don’t plan on cracking the top ten, or even the top 20 or 30— those positions are reserved for more well-trained and experienced athletes than myself — but with any luck I’ll beat my 2022 time.

Looking back at the results of previous years races kindly provided by the Town, I noticed a number of folks who have made a tradition of doing the run year-over-year. I was glad to see enough people enjoy the run to make a tradition of it. The race typically draws somewhere around 120 participants, although some years draw more, and some years draw less (203 participated in 2014, but only 98 in 2015.)

So, whether you’re new to running or you’re a veteran, consider registering for this year’s race. Registration is $30 – trust me, you’re not going to find a cheaper 8K— and includes a finisher medal.

And, if your stomach can handle it after running eight kilometres, head on inside the CBS Arena following the race for some free pancakes served up by the folks from Handyman Home Hardware, assisted by local dignitaries and volunteers. If you’re like me though, you may want to pass on the pancakes and sugary syrup, at least until your stomach settles.

See you all on race day!

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