On September 16th, 2017, the Old Bezanson Townsite hosted the 8th Annual Bezanson Bog making this upcoming September’s race the 9th Annual Bog. This race, directed by Carolyn Goetjen-Pilgrim, has 3 different lengths: 1.3km for Elementary students, 2.7km for Junior High students and Senior High girls, and 5km for everyone else. The 2017 race had over 150 runners of different ages and was very successful.
This race takes place in the beautiful Smoky River valley, the original location of the Old Bezanson Townsite. It begins with the younger age groups and works its way up. The runners are taking on a breathtaking trail overlooking the Smoky River and some even get to trek up the steep, Buffalo Hill. Racers from all over the Peace Country, including communities and schools from Ft. St. John, Tumbler Ridge, Dawson Creek, Eaglesham, Peace River, Valleyview, LaGlace, Sexsmith and Grande Prairie come to the Old Bezanson Township on race day to participate in the annual Bog.
Carolyn, the current race director, has been involved with the Bog since the beginning and she has also been involved in many other things in the community. Carolyn has been involved in the Bezanson Agricultural Society and has volunteered for the Old Bezanson Townsite Committee, slow-pitch tournament as well as curling events and many events at the Bezanson School. She helped to spearhead the GPRC Bezanson Community Bursary, which helps support local post secondary students attending GPRC. Carolyn was also a secretary/treasurer for the Peace Country Thunder U17 Women’s basketball team and is currently the co-founder and manager of Northern Energy Basketball which is made up of Grande Prairie and area U17 women’s basketball players. Carolyn currently works at the Grande Prairie Regional College in Student Services as the Testing Centre Liaison, where she is able to work with students of all ages from throughout the Peace region.
“Carolyn is a tireless booster of Bezanson and the Old Bezanson Townsite. I was very excited when she and Lana (former race director) came to me with the idea of doing an xc race at the Townsite. Over the years, it has developed into one of the best events in the Wolves XC Running Series. The community is really lucky to have such an enthusiastic and passionate volunteer like Carolyn.”
-Bill Corcoran, President and Head Coach, Peace Country Wolves Athletics Club
Carolyn is not the only volunteer at this race though. This race is brought together by a countless number of community members and could not take place without every individual that contributes and makes the race as great as it is. As Carolyn Goetjen-Pilgrim says in another local article:
“Event’s like these do not happen without the support of our volunteers and as organizers we would just like to say Thank You to all those who help out on race day. We often enlist the help of spectators, coaches and fans and we are very grateful for everyone who steps up to lend a hand, even if it is just cheering our racers on.”
Lighthouse Mechanical, Vector Communications, Lefty’s Café, Bezanson 4H Multi-Club, Bezanson Agricultural Society, the Old Bezanson Townsite Committee, County of Grande Prairie and the Peace Country Wolves Athletic Club are only some of the organizations that have helped and supported our local Bog and the community is very thankful for their help, as well as every parent, coach, spectator, and racer.
With all of the volunteers, organizations, spectators and racers, this event has continuously brought the community together and will continue to do this for the years to come. We look forward to the next Bezanson Bog in this upcoming September and hope that it continues to grow into an even better race than it is today.
Written by Ally Pilgrim