Regina’s Queen City Marathon will have a much different look this coming September, and for the foreseeable future.
Thursday they announced a Regina-based health and travel insurance provider — GMS — will become the new title sponsor for at least the next five years.
GMS President and CEO John Salmond said they are proud to be the marathon’s tittle sponsor.
“We’re really focusing in on health and wellness, this is a double win for us in terms of volunteering our time and efforts to build a bigger and better event each year, and then turn around and make sure we show our philanthropy back to the community,” Salmond said at a news conference Thursday.
Salmond also said they are aiming to improve the quality of the race itself.
“Signage is always an issue, the course, the day event, has to be managed a little bit better, so we’re going to work with them and figure out ways that we can help get them the supports they need. Really I think it comes down to more volunteers,” Salmond said.
Last year 400 volunteers donated over 1,000 hours of their time to the event.
There will also be a third race day this year.
“We are expanding, we’re going for the first time to have three full days of racing,” said Shawn Weimer Race Director.
“In the past we’ve been a Saturday and Sunday race, now we have a kind of unique event to Canada we feel. What we’re going to be adding on Friday is a night race, something that will include head-lamps and glow-sticks,” Weimer said.
The new race will be known as the University of Regina Night Owl 5K.
“Being part of the QCM is exciting for the campus community,” said University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Vianne Timmons. “Health and wellness is an initiative that we take seriously and I encourage all students, staff and faculty to participate.”
This year marks the 17th consecutive year of the QCM, which attracts more than 6,000 participants from around the world.
The weekend includes a variety of events, including a marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, 10K run, family 5K run, and a kids mini-marathon – and starting this year the U of R 5K Night Owl Race. Event registration opens on February 1.
In addition, to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, the Marathon said the first 150 people to register will get a discount on registration fees.