The Beat Beethoven Run has been an exciting event for the Kingston community for the past fourteen years. Every year, community members participate in an 8km run or 4km walk from City Hall with the goal of returning before The Kingston Symphony has completed Beethoven’s 50-minute 3rd Symphony. The event is a fundraiser for our town’s wonderful symphony orchestra and has been a hit with the community.
It all began in the spring of 1993 when two runners, Dan Gaynor and Todd Pearson were running and had a discussion about the troubling financial issues the local symphony orchestra was facing. Dan, having just moved here from Edmonton to work for the Whig-Standard, mentioned to Todd that the Edmonton Symphony had done a Beat Beethoven race to raise funds. Serendipitously that same day, Todd saw a friend wearing a Beat Beethoven t-shirt for the Ottawa symphony.
At the time, the KSA office was located above Cunningham and Poupore where Todd worked and by chance, he ran into Jim Coles, long-time member of the KSA and highly respected teacher in Kingston. The conversation went to the Beat Beethoven and the rest is history. Clearly this race was meant to be for Kingston.
For the last fourteen years, Kingstonians have participated in this race, raising thousands of dollars for the Kingston Symphony Association. The committee formed to run the event put in place three specific goals: 1) to have fun; 2) to raise $5000 and 3) to create and event that brings the arts and athletics together. These goals have been met consistently over the years (number 2 has been exceeded considerably).
This year’s Beat Beethoven Race will take place this Sunday, June 1st at 10:30am outside City Hall. The concert is free and a great chance to hear our wonderful orchestra play one of Beethoven’s many fine works. Any runners or walkers still interested in participating can register at www.beatbeethovenkingston.com or go to Runner’s Choice at 260 Princess Street.
I’ll be playing in this concert myself for the first time and am very excited to see it all come together. Hope to see you there!