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The University of Victoria Vikes’ track and field and cross-country team’s primary fundraiser that they have been so well known for over the years – the annual Christmas Tree Sale – has been cancelled. They lost their supplier who simply stopped selling trees on short notice.

To get back some of those funds they need to be resourceful. What better way than to manage a race?

What was old is new again

UVic’s Ring Road offers a perfect circle of approximately 2.2-kilometres in length it’s the perfect venue. It’s flat and traffic control that is needed is minimal.

The UVic 5K ran for years as part of the eight-race Vancouver Island Race Series. It was handy for the Vikes and being situated on the campus was convenient for all, with loads of parking and Centennial Stadium available for pre and post-race goings-on.

The 5K includes two laps, plus a couple added straight stretches at the start and finish to make up the distance to exactly 5.005K.

Currently, the annual Run Through Time fun run happens on the exact same course on New Year’s Eve – this one will be slightly different, but the bulk of the race includes Ring Rd.

The road has been used for various other races over the years including a couple of stints for the giant CIBC Run for the Cure as well as the 1994 Commonwealth Games racewalking events. Athletes are known to use it for time trials and workouts.

“We had been selling the trees for 20 years,” said race director Trish Fougner.

“We’d like to celebrate the race’s return with a “Fitness Through the Ages” theme. Come dressed as your favourite decade. Teams will be eligible for prizes for best costume and theme,” added Fougner, also a former Vike specializing in the 800m distance. Her husband went on to coach the Vikes for three decades and is celebrating his retirement the night before.

Two-time Olympian and current head coach of the Vikes Hilary Stellingwerff will be on hand.

To help the team raise money, $5 of each $20 registration will go to the Vikes. Former Vike athlete Mark Nelson with Race Day Timing is offering free timing services, which saves the event at least $2500, while Nick Walker, also a former Vike and owner of Frontrunners Footwear has offered up prizing.

The start and finish will be at Centennial Stadium.

A kid’s 1K fun run is being offered. Kids registered by March 20 – the first day of spring – will receive a commemorative tee-shirt.

The race starts at the civilized hour of 10:00 am, with the kids going 45-minutes later.

Food and refreshments are being offered.

Register at: www.govikesgo.com/uvic5K