Kitchissippi Times: We’ll be talking about the Cyclelogik Hintonburg Centennial 5K Run/Walk & Newswest 1K Kids’ Run in a moment, but I’d like to ask a few questions about you. Most runners have a story of how they started their running journey, and why. Care to share a bit of yours?
Lisa Georges: I started when I was 18. It was an efficient way to stay in shape as a student in Montreal. I took a break each time I was pregnant but always came back to it. I have a memory of running through Westmount Park and feeling very shy about running… were people looking at ME?
KT: I’m sure that’s a common thing, being self-conscious. How does a person get over that feeling?
LG: Persistence. That feeling eventually goes away as your confidence builds when you reach new goals.
KT: You’re not a coach, but in terms of goal setting, it’s probably a good idea to start small, would you agree?
LG: Always. Going out too hard too fast can cause injury and defeat. Baby steps all the way. In the Cyclelogik run clinic we started with 6x 2-minute walk, 1-minute running. That’s a really good start.
KT: How long have you been involved with this running event? How did your role as race director come about?
LG: This will be my third year. Councillor Jeff Leiper asked me to take over while he ran for council. I was honoured to say YES ;) I was working for @iRunNation at the time and had some knowledge of running events. It was a good fit… I think. :)
KT: Definitely a good fit! Hard to believe it’s been three years. What’s involved in organizing a race of this size?
LG: Volunteers are key to a smooth race day. We are so fortunate to have so many involved people in this community.
KT: Are you still looking for volunteers?
LT: We are ALWAYS looking for more volunteers. There’s never a shortage of tasks! The more volunteers the stronger the event.
KT: The big day is July 10! Do you get to race too? Or are you part of the cheering section as race director?
LG: Ha! I get the best spot on race day: the start/finish line! I love that spot. Watching the kids come in with their parents and then the 5K participants finishing… it always gives me chills!
KT: There is always a lot of buzz around this road race every year. To what do you attribute its popularity?
LG: The best community in Ottawa! Neighbours cheering along the course, friends and families running together… ! Very supportive!
KT: It seems to attract the whole spectrum of runners.
LG: The course attracts some fast Ottawa runners for some friendly competition. It IS one of Ottawa’s only neighbourhood races.
KT: What advice would you give to those who are thinking of signing up but aren’t sure about making the leap?
LG: Come join the fun! If you need to run/walk, or simply walk you’re still taking part and I guarantee you’ll have a good time. Besides there’s CAKE at the finish line! That should be motivation enough to sign-up! ;)
KT: And who doesn’t like cake! Will there be anything else at the finish line for participants?
LG: Water, bananas, bagels and a draw for some awesome prizes provided by neighbourhood sponsors and businesses.
KT: It’s the 10th anniversary of this “funky” road race. Is there anything new/different to mark the occasion?
LG: We have a NEW course! We’re taking runners down Wellington Strett West (… twice!) for the first time in our race’s history.
KT: Can you speak about the fundraising aspect this year?
LG: Yay! I’m so glad you asked! This year we asked local charities to participate… to build awareness of their organizations. We thought it would be a great way of giving back to the organizations that support Hintonburg. Salus Ottawa, Dress for Success, Causeway Work Centre all have teams running this year! You can support them here: hintonburg5k.ca/charitychallenge-findoutmore.
KT: Can you take a moment to talk about event sponsorship? Events like this wouldn’t happen otherwise.
LG: Events of this size can’t go on without sponsors. Cyclelogik has been awesome this year with their support and the run clinic. A big THANKS needs to go out to Brian M. Tracey from Merge Design. Posters, T-shirts, water bottles, trophies. All provided by him. And then there are our major sponsors: Hintonburger, Kelly and Kerry, Kelly Ebbs & Kerry Millican, Global Pet Foods, and Beaumont Hebert Nicholson. They all help support Hintonburg community events. Like you, Kitchissippi Times and Wellington West BIA. THANK YOU.
KT: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
LG: Celebrate with your friends and neighbours! Run, walk, volunteer, cheer! Join the party on July 10!
For more information – or to register – go to hintonburg5k.ca.
This interview originally took place on Twitter and has been edited accordingly.