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Racers for HALO cross the finish line

Posted on April 18, 2024 by Ryan Dahlman
Southern Alberta Newspapers by Anna Smith SUNSET SCAMPER: Racers leave the starting line on April 6 for the Cypress Sunset Scamper’s 10-kilometre course.

By Anna Smith
Southern Alberta Newspapers

On April 6, roughly 120 racers gathered in the rain for an opportunity to push themselves to their limits and raise money for a well-loved local service.
It was the second year of the annual Cypress Sunset Scamper, a fundraiser race for HALO, something CEO Paul Carolan is thrilled and honoured to be part of.

“It’s really all about community, and the running community is one of the most passionate you probably can be a part of,” said Carolan. “These guys approached us a year ago and said, what would it be like if we had a run here in April and unveiled a sunset one, which is a bit different, and it’s had a great turnout.”

The race offered a 10-, five- and three-kilometre course for runners of varying experience, who gathered outside Eagle Butte High School that evening, despite the cooler weather and rain that marked the occasion.

For some, said organizer Darryl Smith, the rain is actually the ideal conditions for a long run.

“If you overheat, it’s much harder to run,” said Smith. “If it’s cold, you put layers on, and to some extent you can also take layers off, but if it’s too hot, then it’s really difficult.”

Smith received positive feedback from the various members of the running community who participated after the race was over, confirming a better flow to this year’s course compared to the previous year. He noted that they have racers as young as five years old, to some participants who were in their 70s, creating a wide range of people willing to push themselves for a good cause.

Numbers were roughly comparable to last year, explained fellow organizer Jocelyn Encinas, who hopes they’ll see the number of participants continue to grow as the years go by and the event becomes better established.

“We’re blessed,” said Carolan. “HALO is incredibly fortunate, to be very well supported by the community, and it’s become a thing of passion for people around this area.

“It’s one of those things now, where we talk a lot about that six degrees of separation in life, and HALO is now pretty much a one degree of separation thing. Whether you actually had to use the service or whether you’re a part of a great event like this that supports it. Everybody sort of has a connection to HALO now.”

Smith extended his thanks to the roughly 30 volunteers who waited along the track to guide runners and keep things moving smoothly, Cypress Fire and local police, the county for the road closures to keep participants safe, as well as the community at large for helping this race be as safe and enjoyable as possible.

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