A bright, blue sky day greeted thousands to the downtown for the 15th annual Daily News Boogie race on Sunday.
More than 1,800 racers came out to help raise $120,730, before expenses, for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kamloops as downtown buildings echoed the cheers of many more who came out to encourage them.
Although the turnout of 1,860 runners is slightly lower than previous years, organizers were actually "ecstatic" about the numbers since a serious challenge didn't have as much of an impact as feared.
"We do a huge Boogie school program and with the job action, teachers weren't doing any school programming," said Boogie organizer Jo Berry. "So we were really thrilled with the numbers."
The runners each took one of the four races the Boogie has to offer: the one-kilometre Mini Boogie for kids up to nine years old, the five kilometre, 10-kilometre or 21-kilometre.
The day's line-up of activities started with a sea of red half marathon runners passing the start line at the 300 block of Victoria Street a few minutes after 8:30 a.m. to the beat of AC/DC's Thunderstruck.
"One of the best things about this year's race is the energy," said race director Vince Cavaliere. "We're able to keep everybody excited right up until starting."
On the heels of the elite runners, kids as young as toddlers and up to age nine took the one-kilometre challenge - many as first time racers.
Meanwhile, race organizer Jo Berry got the five and 10 kilometre runners warmed up with her typical enthusiasm and traditional dance moves. She led the crowds while onstage with a dozen other runners, including Mayor Peter Milobar.
"This is awesome, what a great turnout," said Berry.
TRU students Johanna McIvor, Kelsey Lecomte and Kyra White caught the running fever from each other and the crowd's enthusiasm.
"It's so motivating to run with your friends, they help to motivate and push you forward," said Lecomte.
"The energy is contagious, it just makes you want to keep running," said McIvor.
And run they did.
Bragging rights of the day go to Rick Brewster of Kamloops, who finished the 21 K portion of the race with the fastest time of one hour, 19 minutes, 22 seconds.
"It was a good run, the win is always nice to get but this is just such a great community event," said Brewster.
"It doesn't matter where you finish, this is just a great community event to get people out and run together."
Several people from shorter distances had already stepped over the finish line by the time the 21K racers came in.
The first finisher of the day was 15-year-old Riley Kouwenhoven, who completed the 5K race in 18 minutes 49 seconds. Kouwenhoven himself was surprised by how quickly it went.
"I didn't expect to win, I just wanted to come out and run well."
Faryn Brown wasn't far behind as the female first place finisher in the 5K portion.
"I run for TRU, so I think they will be happy with my result," she said. "It means all the hard work has paid off."
Over the past 15 years, the Daily News Boogie has raised more than $560,000 for a variety of charitable organizations throughout Kamloops.
"We are so proud and honoured to be part of a huge Kamloops tradition celebrating community health," said Daily News publisher Tim Shoults, "and Jo Berry and the Boogie the Bridge Society do a wonderful job, as do our own Boogie co-ordinators, Melissa Finch and Rick Major.
"Running in the Mini Boogie with my daughter Alex for the first time was also great - and it was a good warm-up for doing the 10K. But that's as close as I'm ever getting to a half-marathon."