SURREY — Should Surrey have its own version of the Sun Run? If Gurjinder Bhurji is successful in her efforts, it soon will.
Bhurji, a local real estate agent with Royal LePage, is testing the waters to see how many people would be interested in such an event.
“We’re a continuously growing city. The mayors have done a good job and I want to showcase downtown Surrey,” the avid runner told the Now-Leader.
Bhurji noted thousands of people from Surrey and surrounding cities head to Vancouver for its Sun Run, and says it’s time the city establishes an event of its own.
“I’ve been thinking about if for a while and I’d be happy to see it in Surrey. I don’t want it to just be one community, I want every community to be involved,” she said, noting the event would bring together people of all ages, genders, ethnicities and cultures.
“I think a lot of people will jump on board.”
Bhurji said she’s run many half marathons, and has even trained other people to run with her.
”It’s been my passion, I love running,” she said.
When the Surrey International World Music Marathon was launched in Surrey, Bhurji said she was thrilled. But it didn’t last, after road closure issues and other factors led to it being cancelled.
While there are a few runs that happen in Surrey, Bhurji said they’re mostly in Bear Creek Park, and she envisions “road running” for her event.
“I think it motivates people to see people running on the road,” she added.
She dreams of an annual run in Surrey that’s similar to Vancouver’s annual 10-kilometre Sun Run, which has run every year in April since 1985. It is one of the largest road races in North America that saw more than 40,000 registrants last year.
“I’m thinking it could be a 5K or 10K,” she explained. “I think we could bring huge numbers out, and offer an option that’s small enough that you could walk it.”
Bhurji is calling her proposed event “iRun Surrey” and envisions it running for about three hours.
She hopes to see a route running through City Centre, ending at Holland Park.
At this point, Bhurji is aiming to have the run begin in 2020 to ensure “everything is done properly.”
But for now, she wants to know many people would be interested in participating in order to report back to the City of Surrey, who she says seem “very keen” in initial discussions.
“They’ve told me it’s do-able,” she said. “Hopefully, if I can get enough people, I can get the city involved too.”
She hopes to find 2,000 people who would want to take part.
Bhurji has shared her idea on social media, and said she’s received emails from more than 120 people who want to get involved so far.
The response has been overwhelming positive, she noted.
Bhurji has launched a survey at irun.bhurjigroup.com where those who are interested can let her know. She plans to continue garnering support until the middle or end of March.
She urges people who are interested to sign up, as the show of support could make or break the run’s creation.
“I need every youth, adult, senior who is willing to participate to do this survey,” Bhurji said. “The more runners and walkers we get, the better.”