Lace up your running shoes and prepare to boogie the overpass. Boogie the Bridge is moving to North Kamloops this year and in 2020 as the city undertakes a two-year road reconstruction project on West Victoria Street.
On April 28, the event will move to McDonald Park, marking the first time in its 20-year-history it has been held in North Kamloops. In light of that move, the sea of red will cross the Tranquille Road overpass instead of Overlanders Bridge.
“We have a bridge in there,” Boogie the Bridge race director Karen Henning told KTW.
The spring run, which draws more than 2,000 participants annually and raises money for local community groups, has historically began downtown, travelled along West Victoria Street and across Overlanders Bridge. This year, it will start at McDonald Park and travel at its farthest out to Westsyde. Henning said the route won’t mirror that of the Kamloops Marathon, which begins and ends in July down the road at McArthur Island.
“We’re trying to keep away from that so that people will have that different route,” Henning said.
Event co-ordinator and full-time Boogie cheerleader Jo Berry said parking could be an issue at the new location. She recommended transit and carpooling and expects biking valet to be another option. She said a good warm-up might be to park at McArthur Island and walk over.
“We need to educate the public,” Berry said, noting parking is always of concern with larger events. “Boogie is a big event now.”
City of Kamloops capital projects manager Darren Crundwell said the city is planning to start the West Victoria Street construction project in April. The $13-million, two-year-project will include roadwork and utility infrastructure upgrades beneath the asphalt. Additional work includes upgraded lighting, sidewalks and landscaping.
Now that the BCLC headquarters project has been scrapped, the city is in talks with BCLC to cost-share landscaping work in the area, which were initially expected to be included in the redevelopment. Costs are unclear.
“Now, we’ll be adding some of that back,” Crundwell said.
In addition to necessitating a new Boogie location, the West Victoria Street project will impact traffic. Crundwell said lanes will be maintained in both directions at all times to mitigate impacts, noting the city will provide communications during that time similar to that of the Overlanders Bridge project in 2015.
Others expected to be impacted include emergency services, transit, businesses and the city’s marginalized, due to the proximity of The Mustard Seed New Life Community and the Emerald House shelter.
“We’re working with all of them,” Crundwell said.
Berry said it was a bit of a “shock” at first, but noted the city has been supportive. She said the new route will provide a unique twist to the event and provide an opportunity to promote the North Shore. Participants can expect live music and inspirational messages chalked onto the streets, as has been the case in the past. This year’s Boogie event will raise money for Kamloops Brain Injury Association and Kamloops Early Language and Literacy Initiative. The event has raised more than $1 million, since its inception in 1998.
Last year’s walk and run event drew more than 2,800 participants for the mini-Boogie, five-kilometre, 10-kilometre and half-marathon distances. Berry said she hopes to surpass 3,000 participants for the first time.
“Kamloops, help us!” she said.
For more information, go online to boogiethebridge.com. Run Club training for the event begins mid-March.