Thousands of runners participated in the 5k run at the 2014 Abbotsford Run for Water.

Updated: Run for Water hits the streets of Abbotsford

The seventh annual Run for Water is underway, with roughly 4,500 people expected to hit the streets to run a variety of distances.

The seventh annual Run for Water hit the streets of Abbotsford on Sunday, with roughly 4,500 runners participating in a variety of distances ranging from five kilometres to a marathon.

“It’s exhilarating,” enthused Ken Baerg, chair of the organizing committee.

“We’re proud that it’s sort of become a marquee event for the city. It grew from pretty modest beginnings – 650 people we had in 2008, and we’re in Year 7 now.

“It’s pretty gratifying to see the growth and the profile of the event.”

The greater purpose of the Run for Water is its fundraising to create clean water sources in Ethiopia via the Canadian non-profit agency HOPE International. The six previous iterations of the event had raised over $1 million for the cause, and this year’s race added about $250,000 to that total – “staggering numbers” according to Baerg.

“Clean water is the root of sustenance and economic wellbeing for so many people, so it’s a privilege to participate and try to make a difference globally,” he said.

“It far surpasses anything we ever would have dreamed of. It’s all due to people’s generosity and lots of volunteer hours.”

Run for Water marathon champions were Ryan Prachnau of Abbotsford (2:39:07) on the men’s side and Rika Hatachi of Coquitlam (3:11:12) on the women’s side.

David Jackson of Abbotsford won the men’s half-marathon (1:08:16), and Vancouver’s Lissa Zimmer (1:20:36) was the women’s champ.

Jeremiah Johnston of Mission (32:52) and Abbotsford’s Alex Siemens (38:46) were the 10K male and female winners, respectively, while the 5K champs were Weston Toppozini of Aldergrove (18:59) and Kara Wismer of Chilliwack (20:17).

The event also featured an ultra marathon (53 km), which was run on Saturday.

Among the highlights of the event was an epic performance by Peter Schofield, who ran all five Run for Water distances on Saturday – upwards of 130 km in a single day.

For more photos of the event, visit the Abbotsford News’s Flickr page or Facebook page.


The Abbotsford News is now mobile, able to broadcast breaking news throughout the Abbotsford community from a live production studio.

Kevin MacDonald, videographer with The News, has hit the streets in a new vehicle, which operates as a mobile studio. He was on site at the Run for Water on Sunday morning.

The NewsHound1 is equipped with tools that allow MacDonald to stream live to the Internet from anywhere with cell access, or prepare edited videos to accompany The News’ online coverage.

The studio has full editing capacity, allowing MacDonald to directly upload videos to, as well as the ability to switch between multiple live cameras feeds.

All this technology means The News can provide video from community activities or breaking news events.

The vehicle’s signature look comes from a wrap installed by CM Signs and designed by The News.

“It’s going to take mobile production to a whole new level in Abbotsford,” said MacDonald.

“People want their news now, they want it instantaneously. If something is happening, they want to be able to go somewhere where they can see what is going on.”

Just Posted

VIDEO: Langley realtor builds holiday party for kids

Realtor Matthew Rufh hosted a gingerbread house-building party for the Langley Boys and Girls Club.

Giants defenceman Byram headed to NHL prospects game

The young player is following in the footsteps of former Giant Ty Ronning.

Langley Rams receiver inks with BC Lions

Jevon Cottoy joined the Rams this season and now has a multi-year contract with the Lions.

UPDATE: Heavy rainfall, strong winds in forecast for Lower Mainland

Heavy rains, snow expected till Friday morning

McGregor Says: Shopping husbands will survive

Columnist Jim McGregor offers a little advise to those husbands required to go Christmas shopping.

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

Sissons scores OT winner as Predators beat Canucks 4-3

VIDEO: Vancouver battles back to earn single point in Nashville

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

Christmas fun at Aldergrove Library: VIDEO & PHOTOS

Youngsters enjoyed decorating a Christmas tree with their homemade craft decorations

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Kodiaks avenge themselves against Pilots: ACTION PHOTOS

Aldergrove and Abbotsford Junior B hockey teams tie game at 5-5

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

Most Read