The Peak to Valley Race has been a Whistler institution for decades.
Now the organizers of a new race are looking to give it a 180 flip for the summer.
The Salomon Valley to Peak Race, slated for Sept. 5, will start in front of the Salomon shop in Whistler Village before progressing all the way up Whistler Mountain to the finish line at the top of Peak Chair. The roughly 23-kilometre course will incorporate 1,600 metres of elevation gain.
Whistler Blackcomb events manager Seb Fremont can't recall anything quite like this on either of the resort's best-known mountains, and is excited to see the response.
"It was through some brainstorming ideas and seeing that running is a popular sport these days, we figured this would be a good opportunity to showcase not just our Alpine trails, but the rest of the mountain," Fremont said.
"This is the first running race that Whistler Blackcomb is holding. Back in the day, there used to be events that would run to the Roundhouse, but never to the peak."
From the start line, runners will progress up the mountain roads for approximately 700 metres to allow runners to sort themselves out before hitting the singletrack. Racers will wind through a variety of trails to get to the top. The relay checkpoints will be at the top of Raven's Nest and at the Roundhouse.
Fremont said for the event's debut, he hopes to see 150 entries between the solo and three-person relay categories. There is no cap on registrations to this point.
In the few days since the race was announced, Fremont has seen lots of response.
"A lot of people are showing some interest. They're very curious about it. They're excited about a new running event," he said. "We're hoping to make this a classic year after year and it's a great way for us to showcase some beautiful Alpine terrain."
Early registration is $50 for a solo competitor or $120 for a team of three until Aug. 23. From there, the prices increase to $65 and $160, respectively.
Those looking to register or get more information can visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com/valleytopeak.
Barelli 13th in EWS race
Yoann Barelli made his return home a memorable one.
The French Enduro World Series competitor, who now calls Whistler home, posted a 13th-place finish in the fourth race of the season in the resort of Samoëns.
In the two-day race, held July 18 and 19, Barelli finished in a time of 49 minutes, 44.17 seconds. That time placed him roughly 80 seconds back of winner Richie Rude.
Barelli's best stage was the fourth of five, where he posted the ninth-best time.
Other local residents with strong showings were Josh Carlson, who was 30th, and Dylan Wolsky, who was 68th. Over 190 riders finished the race.
The series continues this week in Crested Butte, Colo. from July 31 to Aug. 2.
Routley strong in BC Superweek
Will Routley showed well in Vancouver during BC Superweek.
The former Whistler resident and Team Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies team member, who now calls Abbotsford home, scored a podium finish during the Gastown Grand Prix, finishing four seconds behind winner Ryan Roth.
In the MK Delta Criterium, Roth bested Routley again, with the Guelph, Ont.-based rider finishing about 10 seconds up in the first race. In the second race, Routley ended up in 47th. In the road race, Routley was 24th. All three events made up the Tour de Delta.
As part of the Tour de White Rock, Routley placed sixth in the second race, a day after not finishing the first one.
Axemen seek some sharp players
The Squamish Axemen RFC is looking for those not afraid to scrum.
The club re-launched this spring after a 10-year hiatus and scored a third-place finish. The Axemen are now getting ready for the fall campaign and are looking for players to fill out the roster.
Practices alternate between Whistler and Squamish each week and are slated for 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday nights.
Transport is available for Whistler-based players who require it.
Those looking for more information can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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