Boogie Strong in 2021: Week 2

Questions about training methods? Go online to or send an email to

While the 2021 CFJC-TV Boogie the Bridge event will not be held due to the pandemic, organizers are hoping a sea of runners and walkers can gather for Boogie in 2022.

On that note, an online fundraising campaign has been launched to help keep Boogie going. Click here for more information.

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Despite the a second year of postponement, Boogie and RunClub founder Jo Berry has urged participants to continue training on their own as it is more important than ever to pay attention to health, in body and mind.

The annual event, which sees participants run and walk various distances, has raised more than $1 million for charity since its inception more than two decades ago.

Kamloops This Week will continue to publish, online and in each print edition, a column by Berry, along with weekly updates from three participants.

James MacDonald of Western Canada Theatre, Kayla Pepper with the provincial government and Kayla Derkach of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group are writing about their experiences as they continue to train for their goal.

We hope you find inspiration in these insights and that they prompt you to do what you can to ensure your physical and mental health is in as peak shape as possible. The community continues on RunClub's Facebook page because outside isn't cancelled.

Questions about training methods? Go online to or send an email to


Jo Berry


Founder of Boogie and RunClub

How is everyone doing out there? This is a question that runs (no pun intended) through my mind every day. I wonder: How is Kamloops? How is everyone doing?

We are one big family in Kamloops and it’s been a very tough 12 months for everyone.

The emotional roller coaster is real, with isolation, loneliness, missing our family members, changes in our work schedules and being out of our routines.  

Within this turbulent ride, there have been blessings.

As the COVID-19 pandemic raged around the world, shattering our familiar realms of life,  many of us  faced a binary choice: we could hunker down at home, or take a walk (run, cycle, or hike) outside.

I discovered hiking for the first time with my daughter, Mak. We started last April and are now both in love with this different way of being in nature. 

As many of you know, I have always ran for mental health. Of course, the physical benefits are enormous as well , but what has prodded me out the door for decades, every single time, is that movement is change.

At RunClub, we call this “Getting our D.O.S.E: dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins.

And it works. I can (and do)  shout this message from the rooftops and appreciate anyone who will listen to my banter on this subject.

Through these past 12 months, to see more people moving outdoors to stay mentally well lights me up even stronger.

Keep moving, Kamloops. Movement outdoors feels more important than ever. We’ve got this!

A campaign to raise money to help bring Boogie back to the streets in 2022 is online at If you can help, go to that website and search “Friends of Boogie.”

James MacDonald
James MacDonald


Artistic director of Western Canada Theatre

Working in the theatre, I’ve been fortunate to be motivated by the creative work of my colleagues, usually in a rehearsal hall where inspiration and invention come fast and furious. I am inspired daily by my wonderful, cross-generational colleagues at Western Canada Theatre.

When we build a play in rehearsal, we have an outcome in mind, but it is really the unexpected moments in rehearsal that create the magic. If we only focused on the result — opening night — it would seem unattainable, just like in run training. A 10K is built by a series of small strides.

Losing motivation is easy when you skip a day, eat a bag of chips or just feel lousy about your progress. And it becomes a feedback loop — “Well, I skipped yesterday, so what’s the point of today?”

The group motivation of RunClub is like a great creative collaboration — a team that always looks for the positive in your achievements and recognizes the steps along the way are the most important part of the journey.

Over the last year, I’ve relied mostly on online experiences for creative motivation. Resuming training got me thinking of memorable “running” movies, from Dustin Hoffman outrunning creepy Nazis in Marathon Man, to the exhilarating German thriller Run, Lola, Run, to the outstanding Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, which was recently recognized as the best Canadian movie of all time.

Last week I discovered the joys of the long and sandy beach off Mission Flats Road. If Chariots of Fire is your inspiration, there’s no better place to crank up the Vangelis on your earbuds, take off your shoes and splash in the shallows of the beautiful Thompson.

Just watch out for the land mines left by our furry and feathered friends.

Kayla Pepper
Kayla Pepper


Emergency manager with the province of British Columbia

It’s a good thing my partner woke me up in time for the latest RunClub, in which we ran three minutes and walked three minutes, eight times.

That hour flew by thanks to the joie de vivre of the 5K Bold team and, in particular, one incredible, shamrock-clad lady who shared her plans to go ocean diving for her 66th birthday next week.

The chatter and positive energy melted the fatigue in my legs and the lethargy from waking up to go running at 8 a.m. on a Daylight Saving Sunday. I ended the run feeling strong, connected and full of all those post-running endorphins. Had I been left to my own motivation, I would have still been in bed, scrolling through social media and thinking about French toast.

While driving home, I listened to a CBC Radio story about loneliness — something I’m sure most of us have experienced a lot over this last year. Author/economist Noreena Hertz spoke about how important it is to have “an infrastructure of community” in which people can come together to foster health and inclusivity. I thought about how many walkers and runners I saw on McArthur Island that morning, enjoying the crisp, end-of-winter air and exchanging hellos or squinty smiles from under masks.

Boogie the Bridge is a critical part of Kamloops’ “infrastructure of community.”

The Boogie community (thanks to its fun, inclusive Boogie philosophy) has chipped away at my feelings of isolation and, for that, I’m incredibly grateful — even at 8/7 a.m.!

Kayla Derkach
Kayla Derkach

Promotions/on-air at Jim Pattison Broadcast Group

I officially did my first walk/run of the spring program of RunClub and it was quite an experience. I went in with no expectations because I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but it was super fun. The atmosphere was extremely friendly, everyone was just excited to be there and the vibe was contagious.

There are different groups for varying levels of fitness, so I was a part of the 5K sweet group, with Jo Berry as coach. We started at McDonald Park, went through McArthur Island, then looped back.

During the walk/run, I got to meet and enjoy the company of a great variety of interesting people. One thing I absolutely loved was that I learned Run Club does this thing called “pick up,” in which the group turns back and shuffles behind the person at the back of the group, essentially bringing them from the back to the front so the group stays together in a supportive way. 

The coaches have said the hardest part of RunClub is showing up and it is true. I was a little nervous because I really hadn’t run in that type of fashion before, let alone outside in a group. I had no idea what to expect and, because of that, I was a little anxious. But once I arrived, it was great.

From the coaches, to the experienced members, to the newbies, everyone was friendly and happy to be doing something they loved.

For a first time RunClub experience, it was a good one.

Boogie training Week2


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