New day and distance for Run for Mom

The run fundraiser, which has been held on Mother’s Day for each of its 16 years, has been moved up one day to help draw in more runners.

Carli Ricka races to the finish line while pushing her twins

Carli Ricka races to the finish line while pushing her twins

Moms can kick back and relax this Mother’s Day, and still participate in the popular Run for Mom event.

The run fundraiser, which has been held on Mother’s Day for each of its 16 years, has been moved up one day to help draw in more runners.

The decision to change the date of the event wasn’t taken lightly, said Margaret Kostrzewa, run organizer. But when they kept hearing that people wanted Mother’s Day to themselves, they decided to poll past participants.

“We did a survey, and the majority of people said they would rather run on the Saturday right before,” Kostrzewa said. The date change means that everyone is freed up on Mother’s Day. Whether they choose to rest up those race-weary muscles with breakfast in bed is up to them, she added.

They will continue to hold the run on Mother’s Day weekend, to help drive home the whole reason for the run. The Run for Mom is supported by the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation, and all the funds raised are donated specifically to the maternity ward in the Chilliwack General Hospital. Over the years, the run committee has been able to fill the wish list for the maternity ward, from small upgrades to new technology.

“The one that gave me the goosebumps was the infant resuscitation machine,” Kostrzewa said. “I couldn’t believe what it does for infants.”

The committee purchases items based on what the staff at the maternity ward identifies as the most needed items. Sometimes it’s a replacement, and other times it’s something they didn’t own before. It all adds up to a better place to birth a baby.

“That’s the whole reason we’re doing this,” Kostrzewa said.

The run committee also decided to change the format of the run, to be in line with other training events. They’ve changed the length of the course from an 8K to a 10K, in the hopes that people training for 10K races will be inclined to join them. There will also be a 5K fun run walk/run course, and a 1K children’s run.

The third change will be a slight change to the location, returning to the Canada Education Park. The benefit of moving the race start and finish location will mean that there is a larger parking lot for runners and organizers.

Kostrzewa is hoping all three changes will work together to bring out more runners. And now that they won’t have to run straight from the race course to Mother’s Day brunches, they’re hoping participants are more eager to hang around for the follow up awards event, and the barbecue held by the Kiwanis club.

Over the past 16 years, the run has raised more than $375,000. This year’s fundraising goal is $20,000, and there are prizes for those who hit certain fundraising levels. Top prize, at $750 in donations, will be a chance to win two WestJet tickets.

This year’s Run for Mom will be held on Sat., May 9 at 10 a.m.

To start a new team, join an existing team, join as an individual, register multiple people or register an entire family, visit http://run4mom.kintera.org.