Each month we focus on a different Canadian parkrun. This month, it’s Beach Strip in Hamilton which just celebrated its second anniversary.
Before Beach Strip started, parkrun existed mainly on the west coast in Canada. With that in mind, four people from southern Ontario decided to start one in their community. Wayne Arnold, Stephan DeWit, Ella Waight and Sharon Gallant banded together to form Beach Strip parkrun along the Hamilton- Burlington border in Ontario, in 2017.
With funding and support from The Burlington Runners Club and Funding Innovation in Burlington, as well as cooperation from the Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA), they were ready to go. HCA has been an excellent partner for this parkrun team. The path is always clear on Saturdays, no matter the weather. This winter when there was ice threatening the shoreline, HCA was involved to make sure everyone was safe.
The location is along a beautiful stretch of Lake Ontario shoreline between Burlington and Hamilton. The path is shared with other runners, walkers and cyclists all year round. It’s also a nice flat route, so there have been many PBs set here. 337 in fact!
This route is so picturesque, it is an extremely popular location for tourists and visitors from other parkruns around the world. On any given weekend, there are visitors from places such as England, Scotland, Ireland, Poland, South Africa, Australia, Germany, United States, France, New Zealand, Russia as well as other parkrun Canada locations.
There are also die-hards who make the trip out to the Beach Strip every Saturday morning because they love the people and the location. Stephen Todd and Caitlin Vance (pictured below) live in Toronto and spend 90 minutes round trip every Saturday to join Beach Strip parkrun. When they first joined, it was the closest location. Now, it’s their favourite! Both Stephen and Caitlin run or volunteer every week.
In two years, Beach Strip parkrunners have accumulated roughly 9700 kilometers! They’re so close to 10,000. Will you be there to join them?
Article by Heather Bodajla
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