Music motivates runners (and firefighters) at annual Band on the Run


Photos: Band on the Run

Racers will line up for the fourth annual Band on the Run tomorrow morning (June 11), the wildly successful event that has grown to include 2000 participants this year. And it could have been bigger – event organizers capped registration at 2000 people to help ensure a great experience for those racers, leaving some unhappy people on the waiting list.

Event co-organizer Justine Brown says approximately a quarter of the runners are local with the rest travelling from other regions to participate. Fifty-five per cent of the racers are new to the event which means nearly half enjoyed it enough to come back again.

Part of the attraction of Band on the Run is the sheer fun of it – it’s a road race and party all wrapped up in one. Bands are stationed along the race routes to give runners a little extra kick to keep them motivated on the 5K, 10K and half-marathon distances. There’s even a 1K fun run for kids. Ten bands will be at roadside this year: Christine Heron, Big East, Connie Black, Slow Motion Walker, the Juan Barbosa Band, Clayton Earl, Sean Cotton, Scott Gilson, The Swells, Tobin Spring, and the Rich Howard Band.

Local musician Christine Heron will once again take to the stage for Band on the Run

Local musician Christine Heron will once again take to the stage for Band on the Run

And when it’s all done, those runners can relax during the afternoon music festival which is included as part of their race entry fee. This year, the featured performer is Canadian balladeer Jim Cuddy with openers the Carl Dixon Trio and Jeremy Fisher.

The good news for you non-runners out there is that the music festival is open to the public – tickets are available online for $20 apiece or $30 at the gate, if any happen to be left. (That’s your nudge to get them online.) Local vendors 3 Guys and a Stove, the Spring Farmer, Totem Juice, and D-Mans burger truck, among others, will be there to satisfy your hunger, too.

Organizers have taken past requests for environmental-consciousness to heart and this year will have a water-dispensing truck available as well as well-marked locations for recycling and garbage.

And the ever-popular and hard-working firefighters will be back – 18 of them – running in full gear for this year’s charity, Habitat for Humanity. So far this year more than $8000 has been raised and, at ‘1K for $1K’, they’ll be running eight long kilometres. There’s still time to sponsor them and maybe get them up to the full 10 kilometres – you can do that here:

How far can you make them run? The firefighters will go 1K for every $1K raised - so far they'll be stopping at the 8K mark in 2016.

How far can you make them run? The firefighters will go 1K for every $1K raised – so far they’ll be stopping at the 8K mark in 2016.

Band on the Run couldn’t happen without the help of a raft of volunteers – about 200 of them – who do everything from stuff racer bags to keeping an eye on the crowds during the music festival, and the events many sponsors.

For more information on the race, to donate, or to volunteer, visit

Temporary road closures during the event are:

  • Muskoka Road 3 (Main St) from Brunel Road to Centre Street: Fully closed from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Muskoka Road 3 (Main St) from John Street to River Street: Westbound lane is closed – Eastbound open to 2-way traffic alternating directed by OPP at each end of bridge from 8:30a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Muskoka Road 3 (Main St) from River Street to Brunel Road: Westbound shoulder lane is closed from 8:30a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Muskoka Road 3 from Golf Course Rd to Arrowhead Park Road ¼ lane closure from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • West St N from Main St to Caroline St E – 8:00am to 9:15am
  • Caroline St from Centre St N to West St N  – 8:00am to 9:15am
  • Centre St N from Caroline St to Hanes Rd  – 8:30am to 9:15am
  • Shay Rd from Hanes Rd to West Rd – 8:45am to 12:30pm

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