Team FIT getting ready for Sun Run

Local group prepares for annual Vancouver event with zombie-themed run

Lenora Poulin runs like a zombie during Sunday’s Team FIT fun run in Hope. The group is training for the annual Sun Run in Vancouver on April 27.

If you saw some scary people on the streets of Hope last Sunday, here’s hoping they were part of the Team FIT fun run.

Families-In-Training were out on their annual five-kilometre run, as a fun practice for the upcoming 10K Sun Run in Vancouver, on April 27 — and the 51 participants were encouraged to dress up as zombies or in 1980s dress. Crazy hair and wild colours garnered bonus points.

The group is at the half-way point in their training and the annual run is used as a spirit builder for the coming weeks, which involve progressively longer training runs.

Co-organizer Miranda Cowan said the event kicked off with a  pre-run warm-up, with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” setting the pace.

The run started at 4 p.m., with the walkers and Nordic (pole) walkers. The fastest walker was Stacey Meijer, who completed the course in 47 minutes. Tasha Fisher was the first Nordic walker, at 48:20.

Cowan’s Learn-to-Run group took off next, followed by the Run Steady and Run Stronger groups.

“Some of the Learn-to-Runs managed to run the whole way,” said Cowan, whose husband Jacob got her involved with the group.

“Levi (her son) went blazing by me at a fast speed and he had started way behind me. He beat me by about 10 minutes.”

Levi beat everybody else, too, clocking a time of 21:17.

“Kayla Penner was the fastest in the Learn-to-Run, at 26:24,” added Cowan, “and Eric Meijer was the fastest in Run Steady, with a 24:14.”

There were prizes for the fastest times in each group — and random draws during the potluck supper, for anyone who had dressed for the occasion.

The supper also followed the zombie theme, with gruesome labels for the dishes.

“I made a ‘Graveyard Greens’ salad, with crunchy cartilage, moulded cheese, and fingernails… served with zombie bile dressing.

“Peter Hollmann brought ‘Curried Baby Thighs’ and Yvonne Hambly brought a ‘Shredded Body Parts’ salad.” There was also a tray of hard-boiled eggs, dressed up as eyeballs.

Cowan said she was in her element, helping people come up with awful names for the food they brought. The Poulins’ unlabelled lasagna was soon transformed into ‘layered skin, with cheesy scab crust.’

For dessert, there were ‘Graveyard Dirt Bars’ and a ‘Walking Dead’ cake, with dirty-green icing.

“The kids loved it,” said Cowan, grinning. “They went back for seconds.”

Now in its ninth year, the Team FIT group has 104 members this year, with 46 families taking part. Fifteen Hope Secondary students are also on the team.

Pauline Johnson, who brought the program to Hope, said the team is in partnership with SportMedBC and the Aboriginal Recreation and Activity Partners Council. Former Olympian, Lynn Kanuka, is the SportMedBC run/walk coach.

This is the 30-year anniversary of the popular Sun Run.