Sports

Reflections of an Icebreaker

By Don Fennell

Published 3:14 PST, Mon January 18, 2021

Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Wed May 12, 2021

Following a January, 2020 event deemed by organizers as a “resounding success”—borne out by the record participation—anticipation for the 2021 Steveston Icebreaker 8K and New Balance 1K Kidsrun was at an all-time high.

But as it has with so many activities in the sports realm, COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the recent event which also serves as an important annual fundraiser for the Richmond Kajaks Track and Field Club.

Last January, a cold snap that had gripped the West Coast during the latter portion of the holidays thawed just in time for race day on Jan. 19. Enjoying rather balmy conditions of 7 degrees Celsius, the region’s ardent running community quick embraced the opportunity burn off some of the holiday pounds by partaking in one of the region’s most popular events. The beauty of the course, coupled with the focus on supporting youth, always makes for a good turnout and the 2020 event reflected that attracting 472 participants for the 8K and 71 for the Kidsrun. 


As has become a popular refrain during the pandemic, supporting each other was also prominent as the community stepped up— from the city to the Kajaks to the Forever Young team to McMath Secondary’s Leadership class. And with New Balance sponsoring the 1K Kidsrun, so did the business community. 

“(The event) has had a tremendous impact on the community in many ways,” said lead organizer Jared Hulme. 

Dixon Elementary teacher Rachel Maika, who is also a Kajaks coach, echoed those thoughts. 

“The reason we wanted to include an event just for kids is to promote a lifelong love of fitness, and living a healthy lifestyle,” she said.

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