“Similarly to Melissa’s Road Race, the Mount Royal Hotel has been an anchor in Banff’s community for both locals and tourists alike,” says Dave McKenna, President, Banff Jasper Collection by Pursuit. “We look forward to welcoming everyone in September.”
It’s two community icons teaming up for a celebrated event, typical of Banff.
"It's a natural fit," he says. "We love that the hotel has come back better than ever at the same time as the race. This is what Banff is all about."
For Regensburg's team, the experience of running the highly-successful Banff Marathon will make transitioning to a more sustainable version of Melissa's easier. Running races, like so many sporting events, can produce a huge amount of waste. Regensburg believes that a race held in Banff National Park has a particular responsibility to be environmentally-friendly.
"It's a ton of extra work and expense," he says. "But it's also an opportunity."
The race is now moving towards "zero waste". This involves significant efforts to reduce waste, to divert from landfills via sorting, and working with sponsors and partners to ensure all goods brought into the event are recyclable.
"There'll be stations everywhere for sorting," he says. "We're aiming high for this year."
Now 77, Jim Fry is still a competitive runner who is aiming to do well in his age group. And he says he’s looking forward to reconnecting with some fellow ‘old-timers’ as well as the free beer at the finish. Having fun is at the heart of Melissa's Road Race, after all.
"I wouldn't miss it," he says.
It’s that unpretentious, fun and casual spirit that is the essence of Melissa's.
Event organizers are still looking for volunteers, a job that comes with plenty of perks. Sign up at banffroadrace.com
Race day is September 22, and runners hit the route at 10:30 AM.
Visitors to Banff and the general public can watch the racers make their way down Banff Avenue, cross the Bow River Bridge or take in the festivities at the Recreation Grounds.