One of Canada’s best-loved ultras, the Run for the Toad Trail Race at Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area near Cambridge, Ont., will cease operations after this year’s running on Saturday, October 5.

The owners, George and Peggy Sarson, have operated the race as a hobby and a labour of love for the past 19 years, and are simply ready to retire.

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“I guess we’ve been thinking about this for a while, and we just came to terms with it… within the last couple of weeks,” George Sarson told Canadian Running today. “We’ve had such a good run with the race. We never really knew, when we first started, whether we were going to go for two years, or three years–we had no idea we’d go for 19 years. We just sort of made things up as we went. Our race was never a business, it was a hobby.”

Run for the Toad

The Sarsons insist the race, which typically attracts at least 1,000 participants, is not for sale. “The idea of profiting would be so removed from everything we’ve worked for,” said Sarson.

The race’s catered dinner, strong organization, its gentle, non-technical terrain, great swag, tent city shelters and the Sarsons’ dedication have brought it a strong and loyal following. Sarson told us they have received approximately 200 emails since announcing this year would be the race’s last. “We can’t take all the credit. We’ve had a loyalty base that has been us since day one, whether runners or volunteers or sponsors. They trusted us, trusted that we would do the right thing. I can only hope we’re seen as being good stewards for running, period.”

The race offers a 12.5K run, a 12.5K walk, a 25K run, a 50K run, a 50K relay and a 1K kids’ run. You can sign up here.

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