Edmonton's Little Big Run

Organization Sponsor: University of Alberta

Organization Partner: The Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre


Program Description

Kevin Tyler had a dream. In it, the director of the Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre, saw thousands of happy and healthy Edmontonians -- children, parents, grandparents, singles, couples -- walking and running through downtown streets, smiling, enjoying the day, the fresh air and each other. Tyler shared his dream with the University of Alberta and the Capital Health Authority, then with the City of Edmonton, the Running Room and the Edmonton Journal. They decided to come together and make the dream, now to be known as Edmonton's Little Big Run, come true the first weekend in June.

The Little (meaning children) Big (meaning adults) Run is a grassroots celebration of health and wellness through active living and he hopes
the whole city laces up sneakers and takes part.

The Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre, located at the University of Alberta, is itself a

legacy of the championships. It's a sport-science think tank; an incubator for elite
competitive athletes and a coaching education centre with a grassroots outreach node
through the Run Jump Throw program for school kids.
The nice thing about a 5-kilometre walk/run is that it's something most people can do, even if they've been inactive and it fits easily into already busy schedules.

"It takes about 20 minutes training a day, something as simple as walking to work or getting off the bus a few stops earlier, but it will make noticeable differences in your mental and physical well being," Tyler says.

There are three portions to the Little Big Run. A walk/run for elementary and junior high school students will take place at Laurier Park in the afternoon during school hours on Friday, June 1.

The family walk/run will take place Sunday morning. It starts at City Hall and depending on the distance chosen, goes as far as the Alberta Legislature, the south side of the High Level Bridge or the University of Alberta campus before turning back. The route will be closed to traffic and the High Level waterfall will mist walkers/runners during the event. A health fair will be staged at City Hall and Churchill Square from Friday
to Sunday.
Additional Partners:Edmonton Journal,Running Room,Ledcor,Tim Hortons, Big Earl,K-Rock,Weight Wise,790 CFCW, Lion's Breath,Sorrell Finacial,Gold's Gym,91 Bounce,Evita MacConnell Graphics,Big Brother Big Sister Canada,Metal Fabricators and Weldings,Downtown Business Association,Athletics Alberta,The Great Human Race, 91-7 Bounce

Funding Sources: 

University of Alberta, Capital Health, City of Edmonton

Strategies For Sustainability: 

Complete support by Health and Municipal government as well as very dedicated and passionate fitness leaders.

Impact Of Program: 

This program has attracted 4,500 participants,200 Volunteers,30 Sponsors!

Evaluation Tools: 

Surveys done by participants and festival organizers.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

The notion of inclusiveness and accessibility rests at the heart of the Little Big Run. Embracing these values will not only lead to a fantastic community based event which will lead to the largest "family" 5&10 k walk/run in North American history.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

Once the main sponsors were on board public education and encouragement for the community members were the biggest challenge. Getting people to commit the time and energy to train was a challenge.

Length and Stage of Project: 

This program began in 2007 but will continue as a large Edmonton festival.

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