Runners take roads less travelled for charity

Early Saturday morning runners will be heading for the central part of the province for a charity road run.

13th annual Desmond Baglole Scenic Road Run tears through rural P.E.I. Saturday

Runners tackle the first hill at the beginning of the 2018 Desmond Baglole Scenic Road Run. (Janet Norman-Bain.)

Early Saturday morning runners will be heading for the central area of P.E.I. for a charity road run.

However, these are not the roads most runners are used to.

During the Desmond Baglole Scenic Road Run athletes barely put a sneaker on pavement because Paul Baglole wanted the run to reflect the spirit of his dad.

"We were trying to design an event in his memory and, being a runner, a running event seemed to be a natural fit," Baglole said. He said his father wasn't a runner, but he loved sport in general.

"He loved the rural part of Prince Edward Island so that's why we ended up there."

Runners will go through the back roads where Desmond fished, the trees that provided him shade and the fields reflecting the small family farm the plumber and Holland College instructor had beside his home on Water Street in Summerside.

For new generations of plumbers

"Our run starts in Millvale on pavement and it quickly goes into the Scenic Heritage Roads," Baglole said.

In the past 13 years the event has been held, participants have told him they like the shade of the rural route and the lack of traffic, Baglole said.

This is the 13th year Desmond Baglole will be honoured in the charity run. (Paul Baglole)

All funds raised go toward helping to train a new generation of plumbers. Proceeds will be used for a student bursary at Holland College in memory of Desmond. Before Baglole's father died from cancer he taught plumbing in Summerside.

"The money goes to a student in the plumbing program as a student bursary. Depending on how many people come to the race it's either one or two we are able to help each year," Baglole said.

Each student usually gets around $500.

Runners enjoying a downhill section on the Scenic Heritage Road just before the 6-kilometre mark of the 2018 Desmond Baglole Scenic Road Run. (Janet Norman-Bain.)

"I have had the opportunity to meet some of those students and they're always very appreciative of getting the bursary," Baglole said.

Baglole thinks his father would be proud of the event.

Cookies for runners

The event starts at 9 a.m Saturday in Millvale at the intersection of Routes 239 and 231, with registration from eight to 8:45 a.m. Registration is $20 and includes participation in the event, door prizes, refreshments and cookies at the finish line.

Paul Baglole's wife Pam makes enough cookies, 250 this year, to give every runner a treat at the end. 

Some people have even started calling the race The Cookie Run, Baglole said.

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With files from Island Morning


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