Take the pain 

September is the month for endurance events

Historically September is the second driest month for of the year for Whistler, with long stretches of sunny days and comfortable daytime temperatures – ideal conditions for hosting endurance events.

That’s why September is the month where mountain bikers ride in the West Side Wheel Up, Samurai of Singletrack and Cheakamus Challenge, as well as the annual Harvest Huck Fest that closes the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.

September is also the month of the annual Sea2Summit Adventure Race, where many top local endurance athletes got their start. As well, there’s the annual Rubble Creek Run – once a secret event, but now a fully sanctioned race in the Sea 2 Sky Trail Running Series.

While each event is a separate entity, together they add up to a busy month for athletes. That’s why this September is now being promoted as the "Month of Pain" by Tourism Whistler.

Sea2Summit Adventure Race – Sept. 9-10

For the first time ever organizers are offering both one- and two-day races to participants. Both days will start with paddling, move on to an epic mountain bike and finish with a long trek with navigation involved. As in past years there will also be some challenges along the way.

This year’s race also starts north, in the Pemberton area, moving south to Whistler. Day two starts south of Whistler and finishes in the village.

For more information or registration – you can enter as a solo, team of two or a team of four (men, women and mixed) – visit www.sea2summit.com.

West Side Wheel Up – Saturday, Sept. 9

The West Side Wheel Up bike race/ride turns 13 this year, and is sticking to the basics. The course will include Lower Sproatt, Beaver Pass, Danimal, Whip Me Snip Me, Rebob and A River Runs Through It bike trails – about a Loonie Race and a half in total distance.

The cost is $20 to enter, and WORCA memberships are required. Registration starts at 11 a.m. at the end of Millar Creek Road in Function Junction, and the start time is noon.

Your entry fee includes a raffle ticket to win dozens of prizes, including a winter season’s pass for Whistler-Blackcomb, and all of the proceeds from entry fees and additional raffle tickets go to the B.C. Disabled Ski Team.

Samurai of Singletrack – Sept. 16-17

This epic mountain bike ride is completely sold out once again, with one person paying $410 at a silent auction and seven people singing karaoke at a Loonie Race to get one of the remaining spots.

Cheakamus Challenge Fall Classic – Saturday, Sept. 23

The 71 km Cheakamus Challenge Fall Classic mountain bike race has always been a "must do" for the epic cross-country riders, but with the addition of a 42 km Cheakamus Light category last year that includes almost all of the technical singletrack, it’s appeal has grown leaps and bounds.

The full race course starts in Brackendale at 10 a.m., follows the Cheakamus River to Whistler, and finishes at Dusty’s in Creekside. The short course starts about 12 km south of Whistler, near the Whistler Bungee Bridge, and joins up with the race in progress at noon.

The singletrack ranges from moderately technical, including Trash and Big Timber, to the black diamond trail Tunnel Vision, but it’s the long climbs that truly make it a challenge.

For more information or pre-race registration visit www.cheakamuschallenge.ca. Day of race registration will also be available in Brackendale until 9:45 a.m. the morning of the race, and at the Whistler Bungee Bridge until 11:45 a.m.

The Rubble Creek Classic – Sunday, Sept. 24

This run is a 25 km loop of Black Tusk, starting in the Cheakamus Lake parking lot and finishing in the Garibaldi/Rubble Creek Parking Lot.

It’s not as technically difficult as Whistler’s other epic run, Comfortably Numb, but starts off with almost 800 metres of graded climbing before reaching the cinder flats and Taylor Meadows plateau, then descends over 1,000 metres to the trail head.

All runners have to be self-supported from start to finish, and arrange their own transportation to the start and finish. Escape Route, the event sponsor, is helping out with prizes from Montrail, Patagonia and Ultimate Directions.

Registration is available at Escape Route, and more information is available at www.s2srun.com.

Last year a handful of athletes did the Cheakamus Challenge on Saturday then the Rubble Creek Classic on Sunday for a truly painful weekend.

Harvest Huckfest – Sept. 30-Oct. 1

The Whistler Mountain Bike Park wraps up its season with three events – the enduro downhill, where competitors see how many laps they can make of a course in four hours, a super-D downhill (uphill-downhill race) and an amateur slopestyle in the Boneyard. More details will be announced in September.

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