"Record numbers today," shouted Tara Holmes from the back of a pickup on Victoria Street as people filed past the finish line. "Over 2,400 runners in The Daily News Boogie!"
Sunday's 16 thannual participatory event began with a flash mob and ended with smiles of satisfaction - and the odd bead of perspiration - as people of all ages caught a breath. Filing past the finish-line chute, they gave high fives, shook hands, embraced, tweeted and - of course - posed in front of smartphones.
"Clear the chute, clear the chute, please."
A cool 10 C under cloudy skies provided near-perfect conditions for the 1k, 5k, 10k and 21k event, which began with 30 seconds of silence in honour of victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
"We want to come shoulder to shoulder," said organizer Jo Berry, sporting a Boston Bruins jersey loaned to her by Mark Recchi. "Remember the beautiful city of Boston and those affected by the tragedy."
Mayor Peter Milobar, who ran last year, expressed his regrets - he had to catch a plane within minutes. Four councillors, Donovan Cavers, Nelly Dever, Nancy Bepple and Arjun Singh, upheld the council banner.
Already running - for re-election, that is - Terry Lake offered encouragement at the start.
"It's good to see so many people committed to healthy living and a healthy community."
"That is so ironic he would say that," observed Norah Ashmore from the sideline, her thoughts jumping to a hotly debated issue within the community. "This is probably the last time they'll be able to be in Boogie."
Saturday's high winds whipped up a dust storm in Logan Lake near Highland Valley Copper Mine, Ashmore noted. She suggested that Kamloops faces a similar scenario if the proposed mine goes ahead.
Ajax was hardly top of mind for most, though, as they greeted the event with a joy of camaraderie and civic spirit. That overall sense of collective movement seemed to count far more important than finish times or accomplishing a personal goal.
About 350 students from 15 district schools, an increase over last year, took part. More than 100 volunteers along the route kept activities moving smoothly.
"Lots of music, lots of energy. You get caught up in the event. It's just great," said Geoff Blunden after completing the run. "If you don't get cold at the start, you're too hot for the run," he added.
"I liked the route better," said Gail Hooykaas. "You're not doing the turnaround at the end. It was a great run. It's really a good time."
Dennis Smith, who turns 80 in a couple of months, completed the 21k, chalking up his sixth Boogie.
"They make it longer every year," he said, grinning. He looked none the worse for wear. Training three times a week at the Y, including pressing weights, pays off, he added.
"I ran the whole way without stopping," his granddaughter, Talia, 12, triumphantly declared.
At 78, Bruce Butcher wasn't far behind Smith on the long circuit. He said he's done too many running events to remember how many.
"I kind of paced myself so I didn't have to do anything rash," he said.
There were a lot of participants from across the region - Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Williams Lake.
"I've been running with my sister from 100 Mile House," said Janine Beaton from Vancouver. "We did it three years ago and we're getting back into it."
They will team up for the first annual 108 Spring 10-km race next Sunday and a half-marathon in a couple of months.
Dana Elliott ran the mini-boogie with her two young sons, Lane, 8 and Ryder, 6. Before she knew it, they took off in front.
"They schooled me. They were gone," she said at the finish line. "Next year, we'll be bringing up to five km."
"I'm totally doing it," said Ryder, 6, adding his vote of confidence.
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TOP FIVE FINISHERS
Riley Kouwenhoven - 17:44
Derek Burgess - 20:06
Trent Smith - 20:14
Faryn Brown - 21:07
Chantel Jeffrey - 21:28
Shaina Kloska - 22:41
Carmin Mazzotta - 33:42
Rick Brewster - 36:09
Andre LeDressay - 39:16
Kathleen Wright - 41:27
Melissa Lowenberg - 41:47
Mandy Sellars - 43:59
Justin Birks - 1:20:42
Wade Carlson - 1:26:34
Grant Ewert - 1:26:43
Elise Desjardins - 1:39:49
Sarah Lawrence - 1:45:23
Melissa Arnold - 1:45:28