Paul Stock is leading an initiative by Hope and District Chamber to bring a 5 and 10K run to Hope, next March. He’s hoping the community will get behind the event and volunteer their time and resources to make it a success. (Barry Stewart photo)

Paul Stock is leading an initiative by Hope and District Chamber to bring a 5 and 10K run to Hope, next March. He’s hoping the community will get behind the event and volunteer their time and resources to make it a success. (Barry Stewart photo)

Five and 10K runs planned for next March

Prizes to be won!

A community-minded citizen is throwing down two prizes of $500 — and you could be a winner, on March 18, 2018. All you have to do is be the fastest male or female in Hope’s inaugural “Flexburn” 10-kilometre race.

The run is being promoted by the Hope and District Chamber of Commerce, with honorary member-at-large, Paul Stock taking the lead.

Stock is a financial analyst for Nestlé Waters and said that Nestlé would be among the sponsoring partners for the event. “The name ‘Flexburn’ comes from the idea of flexing your muscles and burning your calories.”

He added, “The reason why I wanted to put something like this together was to do something positive and fun for the community. We want to make it a family event, so we’ll also have a 5K run/walk — and leashed dogs will be allowed on the 5K event.

“We’ll have face painting for the kids, a live band and a barbecue afterwards,” he said.

Of course, the Chamber is interested in increasing the commerce of the area. On that note, Stock said, “The Boston Marathon, in April 2016, brought in $192 million to the community.

“Over time, if our run is positive and people enjoy it, we can really do something amazing for the town.

“We wanted to do it when it’s a slower time in the district, after Christmas — and the weather is better in March,” he explained. “It will be a focal point for tourism. We’ll bring tourists in and from there, we’ll give them a welcome package and all the different events in the area will be mentioned. There will also be coupons and discounts included.

“If you’re coming to Hope for the first time, maybe you’ll come back for Brigade Days or the Great Fraser River Salmon Barbecue, for example. We also want to showcase the raw, natural beauty of Hope.”

Registration costs will be known by the middle of September, said Stock.

“We’ll cover the cost of running the event and all the rest of the proceeds will go to the local food bank. Everyone will receive a finisher medal. The top male and female for the 10K run will receive a cash prize of $500. That’s my personal donation to the run,” he said.

“The whole Chamber is coming behind this — but this is not just a Chamber event,” Stock stressed. “We want to encourage all volunteers to help out. We want to get all parties involved, to make it a true community event.

“Tammy Shields, of AdvantageHOPE, said she’d will help with the welcome packages and Victor Smith of Communities in Bloom said ‘Anything that’s positive for the community.’

We’ll certainly need people to help direct traffic,” added Stock.

Both routes are planned to start in Memorial Park and head to Water Avenue, then turn south to Old Hope Princeton Way. The 5K route turns at the bike park on Kawkawa Lake Road, while the 10K continues toward the lake. Both routes end in Memorial Park and are designed to have no clashes with railway crossings.

“This will be a chipped, timed event,” said Stock. “I think we might be able to get 3,000 participants. Running groups in the Fraser Valley and even Bellingham are waiting to be able to sign up. You’ll be able to do that by Sept. 15, at the Chamber website.”

The Chamber’s new website — currently under development — will be at hopechamber.ca. You can also find them on Facebook at “Hope & District Chamber of Commerce.”

Volunteers and sponsors can reach Stock at paul.george.stock@gmail.com.