Can you catch the gingerbread man?

Brainsport is gearing up to host the sixth-annual Gingerbread Run on Sun. Nov. 17. The race, which features five- and 10-kilometre distances, starts in front of the Brainsport store.

For those 400 athletes lucky enough to sign up before the race sold out, here’s what you need to know about the tasty event from race organizer Iain McCormick.

Can you catch the gingerbread man?

The premise of the race is similar to that of the children’s fairy tale “The Gingerbread Man.” In the story, the gingerbread man is being chased by many different people and he outruns them all while taunting them. Eventually he is caught. In the Gingerbread Run, one runner wearing a gingerbread man costume starts with the 10-kilometre participants at 10 a.m. and a second starts with the five-kilometre participants at 10:10 a.m.

Instead of a gun to start, the race starts with the chant, “Run run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man!” Participants then chase the costumed runner all the way to the finish line where he awaits to continue taunting them. (Just kidding, no taunting but he will be there to congratulate participants and take photos).

The gingerbread man — who is typically a top University of Saskatchewan track or cross country athlete — has never been caught in previous racers. While some racers have been able to stick close, they couldn’t quite muster a finishing kick to pass him before the finish line.

The race raises money for SaskAbilities

All race profits go to support SaskAbilities, which offers programs and services to people with disabilities in Saskatchewan to foster independence and participation in the community through our programs and services. Money raised stays in the province and goes towards funding SaskAbilities/Easter Seals Saskatchewan programs including Camp Easter Seal, Summer Fun and adaptive technology services.

Last year’s event raised more than $10,000 for the charity.

You don’t need to catch the gingerbread man to get a cookie

All participants receive a souvenir bunnyhug with their race package. Runners can enjoy hot beverages and gingerbread cookies post-race.

Costumes are encouraged

The gingerbread men don’t need to be the only ones in festive garb. Participants are encouraged to dress up if they’d like. Every year more and more people come out dressed to impress.

You’ll have to be as fast as the gingerbread man to make sure you’re registered for next year’s event

This year’s race sold out in less than 90 minutes. Every year it sells out quicker and quicker. Brainsport is always looking at ways to increase the cap every year while still being able to run the event efficiently.

Since the race does sell out quickly runners need to be ready for the opening for the event online. There are also entries set aside for people taking part in Brainsport running clinics. The race committee is always looking for volunteers to help as well. It is another way to be able to take part in this great event.

— Andrea Hill (Editor, Brainsport Times)