Let the (summer) games begin 

Summer Events calendar filling up with running, biking, multisport events

click to enlarge PHOTO BY TOUGH MUDDER - Wire TO Wire events Tough Mudder athletes brave electrical shocks as they battled through one of the courses' many challenges in 2012.
  • Photo by Tough Mudder
  • Wire TO Wire events Tough Mudder athletes brave electrical shocks as they battled through one of the courses' many challenges in 2012.

You may think of summer as the time of year for putting your towel down, your feet up and relaxing in the sun, but Sea to Sky has other plans for you. With a new focus on events in Whistler, new events in Pemberton and Squamish generally living up to its billing as the Recreation Capital of Canada, there's always something going on and it typically involves running, biking, swimming or some other form of physical activity.

There are a lot of regular club events — weekly WORCA Toonie Rides and Monday night rides, regular Phat Wednesday Downhill races, etc. — and leagues for beach volleyball, slo-pitch, soccer and more, as well as activities like rugby if you're so inclined.

But what really sticks out are all the special events, such as one-time races and endurance challenges. Here's a partial list of what's ahead in summer 2013 — not including some events that are still in the rumour stage or that are missing key details like dates.

Running Events

May 25 — The annual Loop the Lakes Trail Race, presented by Challenge by Choice Performance Coaching, takes place out of Alice Lake Provincial Park with three categories: 8km run, 15km and Half Marathon on a mix of dirt and gravel, plus a short one-kilometre kids race. The cost is low, between $45 and $65 depending on your category, and there are cash prizes in some of the categories.

June 1 — North Face Whistler Half Marathon — The main 21.1km sold out this year, but there are still a few spots available in the new 10-kilometre event. As well, there's a one-kilometre Little Rippers Kids Run, and lots of opportunity to volunteer. For more, visit www.whistlerhalfmarathon.com.

June 8 — Walk This Way — Nordic walking is a fast-growing past-time where people use poles and hiking techniques to cover a lot of ground, getting a great, low-impact workout in the process. On June 8, a new event called Walk This Way is set for Whistler Olympic Park, with proceeds going to Osteoporosis Canada. Registration is $49 for the event, or you can pay $99 and get a set of poles and a training sessions with a Nordixx-certified instructor. For registration or more information, visit www.osteoporosis.ca.

June 15 — Whistler Valley Trail Run — Organizers have moved this event forward this year from the May long weekend, to June 15. The run takes place out of Spruce Grove Park, using gravel trails in Lost Lake Park. There are 5km and 10km routes available starting at 9 a.m., followed by the Teddy Bear Trot kids run at 10:15 a.m. Register before May 15 and the price is $20 or $40 for a family. After that prices go up to $25 and $45. Visit www.whistlervalleytrailrun.org.

June 23 — Comfortably Numb Trail Run — This run has been through a few management changes recently, and last year it was dropped by the Run the North Shore series and picked up by local Chris Colpitts, who also organizes the 5 Peaks runs and Meet Your Maker ultra run in Whistler. Now Colpitts is working with Run the North Shore, so the event is back with that group. This is a 25km point-to-point trail run on the Comfortably Numb trail, starting at the Wedgemount parking area and finishing at Spruce Grove park. The price is $60, going up to $70 on race day. For more, visit www.runthenorthshore.ca.

June 29 — Tenderfoot Boogie — This relay and ultra run starts in Squamish at the Adventure Centre and finishes in Whistler at Meadow Park, with other starts in between for individuals and groups going a short distance. There's a 50-mile (80km) category, a 50km category and 28km category available, mostly following the Sea to Sky Trail, as well as some other trails.

August 10 — Arc'Teryx Squamish 50 — This ultra has three options: a 50-mile course, a 50km course or a 23km course, plus a one-kilometre kids race for good measure. All of the categories have been sold out according to the website, but organizers are offering guaranteed registration in 2014 for volunteers at the 2013 event. To get involved, visit www.squamish50.com.

August 24 — 5 Peaks Trail Run — This event takes place in the alpine on Blackcomb Mountain with a 10.6km Enduro, 6.5km Sport, 3km Timed Kids Race and 1km Children's Challenge, with early bird rates of $45 for the Enduro and Sport categories and $15 for the Time Kids Race still available. For more, visit www.5peaks.com.

September 1 — Meet Your Maker 50 — This is arguably the most challenging 50-mile ultra and relay in the corridor. One of the legs is almost the entire Comfortably Numb Trail Run distance (25km), and one leg has runners going up Blackcomb and crossing the Peak 2 Peak Gondola to hand off to another runner who then runs around 10km downhill. Relay teams can include up to seven runners, and some 90 per cent of the course is on singletrack. Solo runners are $155 and relay members pay $120 each. For more information and registration visit www.meetyourmaker50.com.

September 15 — Terry Fox Run — This run, walk or roll event raises money for cancer research and assisting those going through cancer treatments. www.terryfox.org/Run

September 29 — Whistler Spirit Run presented by Rio Tinto Alcan — This race has become an annual tradition at Whistler Olympic Park, bringing a traditional cross-country running race to the corridor to benefit up and coming runners. There are categories for schools, universities, corporate challenge teams and individuals. For more, visit www.whistlerspiritrun.com.

September 29 — Rubble Creek Classic — This event weighs in at 24km, and the highlight is a run through the cinder flats behind Black Tusk before descending through the Taylor Meadows. Registration is capped, so early registration is recommended. Visit http://en.escaperoute.ca/events/RubbleCreek.aspx.

October 19 — Whistler 50 Relay and Ultra — This will be the third year since BC Athletics has hosted this event in the resort, which is comprised of a 50-mile (80km) course that consists of four laps of 20km course. Relay teams of four to eight can take on the course. For more, visit www.bcathletics.org/whistler50/.



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