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Young runners take on Kamview trails

The event was part of the High Noon 24 Hour Trail Race and Relay.

THUNDER BAY – As those competing in the High Noon 24 Hour Trail Race and Relay continued their treks around the Kamview Nordic Centre trails on Saturday afternoon, a group of competitors were on a run of their own.

Eight runners between the ages of five and 15 took part in a four-hour timed event for youth competitors around the 3.38-kilometre course.

“It’s pretty cool,” said 15-year-old Grace Lee, who completed nine laps of the course in the allotted time. “It’s a neat set-up that the course is on and you can see how much you can do along with the adult runners.

“It can be easy to give up or say, ‘Oh, I can just stop here’, because there isn’t a set amount of distance like other races. You have to know what you want to do beforehand.”

Antonio Stefanile, who is the owner and race director for Up River Running, said that the youth run was added in 2023 to introduce children to an outdoor activity that their parents and peers might be involved in.

“It’s an opportunity to challenge themselves, have fun and recognize that running doesn’t have to be this arduous challenge that is just all guts and no glory,” Stefanile said.

“We’re here to promote physical activity while still having fun, and I think having these kids take part in the race adds more energy and excitement to the whole event.

“Who knows, hopefully in a few years we’ll see them in the other divisions.”

Stefanile’s eight-year-old son Jacob was one of the runners taking part in the event and completed seven laps, which was two more than he did in last year.

“I like running in the race and the feeling when I finish,” Jacob Stefanile said. “I was so proud.”

While the field were getting their awards at 5 p.m., one runner was still out on the course.

Fourteen-year-old Oskar Berglund was attempting to complete 13 laps, which would be the same distance as a marathon. He was expected to finish his quest early Saturday evening.

“Oskar’s a super fit kid,” Antonio Stefanile said. “He’s really strong mentally and he’s got a lot of enthusiasm.

“It’s really exciting to see how some kids want to challenge themselves and go beyond the limits that some people may set.”

The High Noon 24 Hour Trail Race and Relay wraps up at 9 a.m. Sunday.

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