By Cole Parkinson
Come this summer, Tuff runners will be hitting the Municipal District of Taber Park on July 10.
Last year’s event was able to go ahead with additional safety measures due to the pandemic and the group was once again looking to host the event in 2021.
During M.D. council’s regular meeting March 23, the request was brought forward.
“(They’re) hoping to have their run down at the M.D. Park again, similar to like they did last year and the year before,” explained Lace Lutz, executive assistant. “Last year, with COVID, they did some extra stipulations and staggered the start times. They had extra volunteers there for safety measures. I spoke with Jeff on the phone, and he advised me it was going to run identically to last year. Runners had nothing but positive things to say and it looks like it went really well.”
Last year’s event was the second time the event was held at the M.D. Park and the event ran smoothly despite the pandemic situation.
“In 2020, because of COVID, we ran our race asynchronously: runners still had to run our course, but they had a window of seven days to run it. Both years we had over 50 runners participate. We received many complimentary comments on the location, the course and the race organization. This year, we plan to run the race asynchronously again but, COVID-depending, have the majority of the racers come on the 10th of July.”
“We will follow all guidelines from Alberta Health Services. As you know, our course runs through M.D. and town land. We will request permission from the Town of Taber, as well, to run part of the race through their land,” reads the letter from Jeff Hamilton, Taber Tuff race director.
Tentatively, the 25-kilometre run starts at 8 a.m., the 12.5-kilometre run begins at 8:15 a.m. and the six-kilometre race begins at 8:30 a.m on July 10. The races though can be run anytime between July 4-10.
The group also requested a group campsite down at the park.
“They have booked one of the group campsites, which is ($40) per day. They asked if we would consider a reduction or coverage of that. I wonder if this would apply under the Community Grant Application and that would be a better way to see this request come through,” added Coun. Tamara Miyanaga.
Administration pointed out the group could apply to the Recreation Grant Policy to fund the campsite.
“I believe this would be a good application under the recreation grant or a donation ask. I believe anything in that policy, any requests under $500, is at the discretion of the CAO to grant that. Whether it’s a rental service in this situation or a donation,” said Bryan Badura, director of Corporate Services.
“This is an excellent use of our park. It increases a variety of interests,” added Miyanaga.
A motion to approve the request, as long as the event is deemed safe, and have the group submit an application to administration through the donations to community groups, as per the policy, was carried unanimously.
Coun. Brian Brewin was absent from the meeting.
If you’re interested in signing up for this year’s Tuff Run, visit ultrasignup.com and search “Taber Tuff.”