Samurai sells out, and more 

Barring any unforeseen backcountry restrictions due to the fire risk, the fourth Samurai of Singletrack should get underway as planned on Sept. 11 with 108 riders taking on a course featuring some of the most challenging bike trails in Whistler.

It was only supposed to be 100 riders, but the event organizers were caught off guard this year by the high level of interest.

"It’s crazy. People are crazy," said Tony Horn, who created the race in 2001 along with Ru Mehta of Teppan Village. "I get to work this morning and there’s two guys there with sleeping bags, another seven or eight people who wanted in to the race."

Participants and volunteers in last year’s race get first crack at registration, and the event was opened to the public on Monday, Aug. 2. In past years as many as 20 spots had opened up, but this year a full 93 riders out of 102 riders from the previous year had signed on. In addition, 10 volunteers from last year’s race signed up, which already put the race over 100 riders.

Not knowing how many volunteers signed up, Horn put a sign on his door advising people that there were only five open spots for the public.

"I didn’t have the heart to send them away, so right now we’re actually oversold… we have 108 people registered," said Horn.

"It’s great in one sense but it’s hard. It would be great if we could open up to everybody and have 200 riders out there, but that’s not what we’re trying to do and the restaurant (Teppan Village) couldn’t handle it."

The event also has too many volunteers this year, which will make for a capacity crowd at the restaurant this year.

The course for this year’s Samurai event won’t be announced until two days prior, at that week’s Loonie Race, and will also be published in the Sept. 10 Pique. Last year’s course was 63 kilometres of singletrack, and included trails like Billy’s Epic, Cheap Thrills, River Runs Through It and Comfortably Numb.

"There’s a lot of a rumours about the course this year, but we’re not saying anything. You’ll have to wait and see," said Horn.


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