Summer updates from Run Waterloo

We hope this message finds everyone safe, healthy and happy. The #1 question we are getting now is, “when are your events coming back?” We want to address this as directly as possible.

While we sure wish we could hold live events, at this moment in time, we aren’t planning or scheduling any live events for 2021.

That doesn’t mean we aren’t ready. We have stayed on top of the research, the best practices, and the lessons over the past year and especially recent months. Shoutout to Athletics Ontario for top-notch guidance and the Canadian Endurance Sport Alliance for incredible advocacy for our sport.

We do feel like we are able to execute safe events now. It wouldn’t look like “normal” – much smaller, much fewer frills, and still with crowd-eliminating measures such as wave starts and no spectators. But we do think it’s possible, and events are starting to be planned for various places in Ontario this year.

With all of that being said, and even with Waterloo Region joining Ontario at Step 3 on Friday, we aren’t going to launch dates yet for a number of reasons:

First, there is still a large amount of uncertainty. Various metrics are looking very positive now, but our approach to use an abundance of caution is for the benefit of everyone.

Second, while health is essential, and running can be essential to many of our lifestyles, our events are not the same. We can and have lived without them for over a year now, and we don’t need to be in a rush to bring events back. We don’t have a financial pressure to get going again, but on that point, we are launching a new virtual fundraiser later this week!

Third, we very well still might be launching events for the fall, but closer to the event dates. As we are still sitting on an enormous number of deferrals from canceled 2020 events and to be honest, we just aren’t eager to launch even more events for 2021 if it could mean piling on more deferrals.

Run Waterloo’s (pre-pandemic) calendar taxed our volunteers hard, and one of the silver linings of this hiatus is that we have been able to recharge our own batteries and gain perspective on our operations. We have also mostly suspended our non-event programming, but even that is also gearing up again.

As a team, we are absolutely eager to start bringing the community back together, and we know it’s going to be sweet – whenever it happens.

In the meantime, please make sure to do everything you can to help speed our local and provincial recovery. Get your shots. Follow the advice. We can do this together.


  • Paul Williams July 16, 2021 8:14 am

    Dunno why almost no effort with a few exceptions, was made to make events virtual! For the ones you did make virtual thanks! I hope the Remembrance Run goes live.

    • runwaterloo July 16, 2021 8:17 pm

      Thanks Paul. It comes down to, our heart wasn’t in it. We see the value of virtual races and in fact, so many options popped up to keep people motivated. We are here for bringing people together through running, and the online merchandising isn’t really our specialty or our passion. But we will continue to offer some options starting tomorrow!

  • JOHN PALMER July 16, 2021 10:53 am

    Many thanks for the update. Like many others wondering how RW is faring, its good to hear that there will be a come back when it is safe to do so.

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