Around 50 students from across southern Alberta with the Blood Tribe Running Club recently won the Brooks Running Challenge for logging the most kilometres in two days.
The club has been meeting one or two times a week for close to two years. The runners always work hard but of late, their steps have carried a little more significance.
“I just rallied everybody together and we just started running,” said Head Coach Darcie Vielle.
Runners Soul in Lethbridge chose the student club to take part in the Brooks Running Challenge, where people register with the store, trying to run as many kilometres as possible over two days.
Runners Soul was up against seven other stores across Canada, but the owners liked their chances after joining a young club member for a run.
“They came in and ran from the store and my husband Sean was really impressed,” Runners Soul owner Erin Pinder said.
“He ran with a little guy, I think his name was Nathan. He was wearing shorts and a T-shirt and it was probably -10, maybe -15 that weekend and lots of snow. They were just doing one loop around the lake and when they got back he wanted to go again so he could get more kilometres. So then they ran another loop and then he wanted to go again, but the group was leaving so he had to go.”
In two days the club, along with other Blood Tribe members, racked up 1,073 kilometres. When combined with runners in Lethbridge, the total jumped to more than 2,600 kilometres.
The impressive total vaulted them to the top spot, in what was really, a community effort.
“There was like a few hundred people who ran kilometres for us,” Vielle said. “Then just reading all the names of everyone and the distances they ran was just amazing… I was in tears, just amazed by how much effort they put in towards us, to benefit our club.”
The club won nearly $11,000 worth of running gear, which it will put to good use soon.
“It was really cool being able to get fit for shoes and being able to get some pants and a shirt that we can all run in that matches,” said Brianna Breaker Fox. “It’s pretty cool.”
Runners Soul expects to have the club’s gear ready in around two weeks.