History » 1994 [ Back ]

1994 April Fools' Day Run

Coast News, March 14, 1994

Click to enlarge
The start of the annual April Fool's Day run has been reversed from last year, so runners will take their marks in Sechelt.

Walking an April Fool's race option

Hearty half-marathoners are still being hailed to participate in the 16th [sic] annual April Fool's run across the Sunshine Coast.

But, with only three weeks left to train, experienced runners are advising armchair athletes against signing up for the full 22-km.

"To run the half marathon now, you should already be a runner," says Rieta Hanson, five-time marathon runner and Gibsons fitness instructor.

Hanson said people still considering entering the full April Fool's run, scheduled to go ahead April 10, should have a good base of training under their belt. That means running at least three times a week for the last few months. Hanson recommends building up stamina before attempting the distance.

"You should be able to run 10 miles comfortably," she says.

But Hanson adds she's loath to put anyone off from trying.

For someone who is not in running form but is in relatively good shape and has made some kind of steady commitment to exercise over the past few months, Hanson thinks it possible to go the full 22 km distance — "If you don't mind being a little stiff afterwards."

She further urges people not to discount the fitness potential of the 10 km walk which has for the first time been included in this year's April Fool's event.

"There are a lot of recreational walkers out there...This gives them something to work towards." Hanson, herself an experienced marathoner, says she's run the course from Sechelt to Gibsons several times and considers it a good challenge.

"There are some mighty hills," she says, noting in particular the one at the end of Lower Road past the cemetery.

Slower runners can expect to spend over two hours on the road. Faster, more competitive athletes can complete it in just over one hour.

Hanson says it's important to keep the goal of finishing in mind throughout the course but that doesn't mean a runner can't have fun. She calls herself a "social runner" and suggests participants link up with others of the same pace to chat and pass the time. That advice may not be right for everyone, she says. More serious runners may just want to focus their minds, "clock off miles and go for it."

Do whatever feels right, she says. "Enjoy it....that's all you need for fitness."


Coast News, April 11, 1994

90 finishers

Change in direction adds spice to April Fool's run

by Ian Cobb

Click to enlarge
Fools rush in... Streaking past the finish line at Gibsons Park Plaza Sunday, participants in this year's annual April Fool's Day Race turned out to walk, run, and rollerblade 22 kms from Sechelt and 10 kms from Roberts Creek to raise money for the BC Children's Hospital. Joel Johnstone photo.

While most of us were lounging in the sack Sunday morning, about 90 hardy souls were pounding the pavement from Sechelt to Gibsons.

The 16th Annual April Fool's Day Run, still growing after all these years, took a change in direction this year and was lengthened by one kilometre.

Starting at 9 am at Hackett Park in Sechelt April 10, the 22 km road race moved down Highway 101 to Marlene Road in Roberts Creek and then along Beach Avenue and Lower Road back out to the highway and concluded at Gibsons Park Plaza.

Doug Mulligan of Cedar Grove, who repeated as over-all race winner and winner of the senior category (age 20-35), said the change in direction was one for the belter.

Hardly panting, Mulligan said he enjoyed the race, "especially the second half along Lower Road. "You don't have to worry about cars. It's nice."

Second-place finisher and first overall in the masters category (age 35-60), Ken Grunenberg, running in his ninth April Fool's run, said, "It's not too bad, actually. I think I prefer it" of the new direction. The turnout for the race was also probably the biggest he's seen, he said.

Click to enlarge
Volunteers at relay and water stations helped runners while the athletes tackled the ups and downs (mostly ups) of Highway 101 during the April Fool's Race. Joel Johnstone photo. (click to enlarge)

The third-place finisher overall was Steve Peel, who completed the race in one hour, 31 minutes and eight seconds.

Arne Tveit-Pettersen, second overall in the veterans category (60 and up), completed his 15th April Fool's Run, but the change in direction didn't agree with him. His more than respectable finishing time of 2:08:40 was his worst ever, said the Roberts Creek resident.

"It's a lot tougher course because those long climbs are very hard." The first overall woman, Layle Kenyon of Roberts Creek, who finished the race in 1:43:00 (an average speed of 4.7 kph), said the course wasn't as bad as she feared it would be.

"I was fearing the Roberts Creek hill," she said, adding after a few seconds of reflection that she preferred the Gibsons to Sechelt route.


First overall man and senior category, Doug Mulligan, 1:26:48.

First overall woman, Layle Kenyon, 1:43:00.

First in junior (age 17-19), Phil Finlayson, 1:58:28.

First in juvenile (age under 17), Nicholas Half, 1:32:20.

First in veterans (60 and over), Roger Tadema, 1:47:18.

In the relay section of the race, Team D (Three Peters and a John) finished first. Peter Braune, John McKay, David Moul and John Guenther finished with a combined time of 1:40:42.

Second went to Pender Harbour, with Scott Bruce, Khe Bruce, Rolf Harrison and Dani Thompson finishing with a time of 1:43:36.

And third place went to the Sechelt Fire Department, with Bill Higgs, Craig McKenzie, Geoff Morris and Jason Gallagher finishing in 1:45:40.

In the 10-km walk, Rhonda Lincez zapped the course in 1 hour and 14 minutes, followed by Grant Parker (1:21) and Shannon Grunenberg (1:22).

Because of our press deadline, the final results may have changed.


Thank You Ad in Coast News, April 18, 1994

Click to enlarge
Thank you ad in Coast News (click to enlarge)

The 16th ANNUAL APRIL FOOL'S RUN is over and was one of the best yet. Over 100 people participated in the event with many more support people involved. The changes and improvements to the run/walk reflect our desire to continue to enhance the event, and in turn, promote healthier lifestyles. It is very important to recognize all the volunteer hours that go into the operation of the events. We thank them all for their efforts. There is also a long list of businesses which directly supported the event with materials, time and prizes. We would like to thank:


We would also like to mention special thanks to the Coast News for their extraordinary effort. Their materials and support were instrumental in helping generate a donation to the B.C. Children's Hospital of close to $2,000. We are still receiving donations, and donations can still be dropped off at Frontrunners. Please make cheque payable to the B.C. Children's Hospital (no cash, please) and we will add the amount to our donation. The Gibsons Teen Centre was also able to raise over $200 and the crowd certainly appreciated the dogs and drinks.

All in all, a great event on a great morning. The run has continued to grow over the last few years and we expect next year's event to be better yet. Finally, congratulations to all those participants who got off the couch and took (many) steps towards health and fitness. See you all next year!

Shannon Phillips, Gordon Clayton — FRONTRUNNERS


First ever Fool's Run