Prince Rupert runners preparing for half marathon

In the midst of a downpour on Sunday morning, the Rupert Runners disbanded from Charles Hays Secondary School to head to the harbour.

In the midst of a downpour on Sunday morning, the Rupert Runners disbanded from Charles Hays Secondary School to head to the harbour for their tri-weekly meet.

Dark skies wouldn’t stop Dale White or the other members who showed up for week eight of their 13-week Learn to Run Program, which encourages participants to go from their couch to 10 kilometres in that time span.

“Week Eight’s a recovery week,” said White at CHSS.

White, who’s been with the program for three years, helps train the newer members get their stamina up for the final test of the race, called the Crest Glory Days event with a 5 km and 10 km race on May 10.

Before that, however, the group, or anyone who feels up for it can take part in the “Rupert Half plus 8” this Sunday, which is a half-marathon, two person-relay and 8 km race.

“The beginners here are encouraged to try the eight km, because it’ll take them about 55 to 60 minutes to do it and that’s about where they’re at now,” said White.

White joined the club three years ago after an incident at school showed the now-retired teacher he had some training to do.

“I did a lot of walking at the gym but I tried to do a running exercise with a group of kids at school one day and I couldn’t run,” explained White.

Commitment to the program varies from person to person, the race director says.

“When I was teaching and had three kids and all of the responsibilities, I don’t know if I could have ever done this, but when I retired it became a lot easier,” said White. “It’s basically three hours a week and if people can fit that in, they’ll benefit from it.”

The director’s also noticed a difference in stamina, even saying sometimes the minute breaks in between runs feel unnecessary — a testament to the body’s endurance level, and the pay off from the sessions.

The 33rd annual Prince Rupert Half Marathon and 8K Race will take place this Sunday. Registration begins Saturday at 10:00 a.m. until noon and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. until 12:45 at the civic centre. The race starts at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.