Food Bank Drive

Amble with Angus

The 17th annual run in support of the CBC Calgary Food Bank Drive
Amble with Angus runners at the start line.

It's your chance to run five kilometres, support the Calgary Food Bank and still get to the office by 9 a.m. Amble with Angus is a 5k run with all funds raised going to the CBC Calgary Food Bank Drive.

The 17th annual event gets underway at 7:30 a.m. this Friday at The Arches at Eau Claire Market. Amble with Angus provides much needed support for the Children's Milk Program as part of the CBC Calgary Food Bank Drive.

Running enthusiast Angus Cowan teamed up with CBC in 2001 and came up with the idea over a cup of coffee with former CBC host Donna McElligott. He says they planned the 5k run literally days before the inaugural event. "On that first morning on Memorial Drive (at the old CBC building) we had about 20 participants take part—​there was a certain charm to it and it began to grow from there until it got so big we had to move to Eau Claire." 

After modest beginnings the fundraiser now attracts up to 500 participants and has raised over $400,000 for the Calgary Food Bank. Last year, Amble with Angus was able to distribute over 22,000 litres worth of milk for children and pregnant women. Cowan's philosophy is simple, "good things come from small ideas and this fundraiser shows it doesn't take much to help the community." 

Canadian Olympic wrestler Erica Wiebe piggybacks Calgary Eyeopener's Angela Knight across the Peace Bridge during Amble with Angus 2017.

In recognition of the 25th anniversary of the CBC Calgary Food Bank Drive, Cowan ran for 25 gruelling hours around the pathway loop at Prince's Island Park—a distance of over 100 kilometres. In 2013, the father of three was inducted into the Calgary Marathon Society Hall of Fame for outstanding contribution to the running community for Amble with Angus.

Cowan says there's been no shortage of familiar faces who return to the event year after year and that he's seen participants grow up before his eyes. "You see them over five, ten and 15 years. They start in high school, go to university and then they have a job downtown."

One of those familiar faces is the CBC Calgary's Ute Schaffland who will be participating in Amble for Angus for a 12th time this year. She always looks forward to supporting the Calgary Food Bank and has a message for her friends who might be on the fence about getting up bright and early on Friday morning. "You can either come and join me or you can roll over and sleep in—sponsor me and still feel good about yourself even if you don't come out."

Even though participants can run or walk, Schaffland says her competitive nature kicks in when she's at the start line. "I have some dear friends who do join me and we always say we are going to go slow, but it ends up being the fastest 5k we ever run."

CBC Calgary's Ute Schaffland out for a ski at Lake Louise with friends.

There is no prize for finishing first, but that doesn't mean "amblers" will walk away empty handed, as there's a bevy of impressive door prizes that will be handed out after the event.

The 5k run or walk follows pathways around the Bow River. Runners and walkers are encouraged to get to Eau Claire early on Friday as the annual tradition begins at 7:30 a.m. sharp.

The entry fee is a minimum $20 donation, with all funds raised going directly to the CBC Calgary Food Bank Drive. Register or make your donation today at amblewithangus.com.