The course for the annual West Side Wheel Up changes a little from year to year, and this year's event on Saturday, Sept. 12 is no exception.
The consensus is that it will likely be the best course yet with Piece of Cake and A La Mode trails knocking out some of the tougher climbs on Lower Sproatt, the addition of Get Over It after Bob's Rebob, and the use of the new extended trail through the Emerald Forest that connects to the very first section of A River Runs Through It.
The new course emphasizes singletrack, while reducing the riders' contact with Alta Lake Road.
The first section from the entrance to Function Junction to Alta Lake Road will remain the same before hooking up with Lower Sproatt, but the middle section will be a little different. After Lower Sproatt riders will make a loop of the Beaver Pond trail before taking on Upper Beaver Pass and Whip Me Snip Me - bypassing Lower Beaver Creek - to climb up to the Rainbow Creek bridge and the flowing downhill back to Bob's ReBob. The last section - a full pull of River - will include the new section that takes riders to the Rainbow Park parking lot.
In total distance the race is about the length of a Toonie Ride and a half, and the fastest riders are expected at the finish line in just over an hour.
The cost is $25, which includes a raffle ticket that can win a 2009-2010 season's pass for Whistler Blackcomb and dozens of other prizes, as well as food and refreshments at one of the most legendary après parties in town. All proceeds from the event go towards the B.C. Disabled Ski Team to help cover their costs.
Phil Chew has run the race for the past eight years, since founder Les Clare was paralyzed in an accident. It was Clare's decision to turn the race and proceeds over to Chew, who is the head coach of the disabled ski team, and he will be on hand this year to talk to old friends and present the extremely heavy trophies and traditional tie-dyed shirts to the top male and female.
This is the 16 th year for the event, which was created to celebrate the end of the season, and to enjoy some lesser-ridden trails on Whistler's west side.
"I'm putting out a challenge to all the Toonie Riders out there to come out and race this event, it has a lot of history and it's a really great course. If you can do a (Toonie Ride) then you can do this race," said Chew.
Chew is hoping for at least 150 riders this year.
One stop registration at Strut Your Stuff
The annual Strut Your Stuff registration fair returns on Saturday, Sept. 12, with dozens of community sports, arts and recreation groups setting up booths at Myrtle Philip Community Centre to register kids for the upcoming year. Groups ranging from gymnastics to hockey to martial arts to dance host tables at the event.
As well as registration, families can also apply for Kidsport grants to help defray the cost of enrolling their kids in approved sports, recreation and arts programs. Grants of up to $300 are available per year for kids aged five to 18, and must go towards participant and registration fees.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and all community groups serving the youth are invited to reserve tables.
To reserve a table contact the Resort Municipality of Whistler at 604-935-8350 and indicate course #13236. For more information contact Sheila Mozes at 604-905-9393 or Stephanie at 604-902-1433.
Terry Fox Run turns 29
The annual Terry Fox Run in Whistler will be a special event this year with events running from Friday through Sunday, culminating with the 29 th annual Terry Fox Run.
On Friday, Sept. 11 there is a party at Merlin's with live bands, DJs, raffle prizes, 50/50 draws and a silent auction. The lineup of artists includes Rachel Thom, Pierre Eady, Emile Sanchez, J-Rawkes, den tandt, DJ Phroh and Chili Thom. There will be live art on site by Vanessa Stark. The celebration gets underway at 4:30 p.m.
On Saturday, Sept. 12, Terry Fox's high school coach Bob McGill will speak in Whistler at the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre, followed by a Q&A and a screening of the Terry Fox Movie. There is a minimum $10 donation at the door, and doors open at 6 p.m.
The annual Terry Fox Run takes place on Sunday, Sept. 13 at Meadow Park Sports Centre. Registration is by donation (suggested minimum is $10) and gets underway at 9 a.m. for a 10 a.m. start. There are both 5 km and 10 km courses available, and participants are free to run, bike or walk.
The run includes a barbecue by Splitz Grill, Subway and Mumz Kitchen, and entertainment includes live music, face painting and a bouncy castle for the kids. There are raffle prizes up for grabs, including hotel stays from sponsors at the Four Seasons in Maui, London, Tofino and Seattle. Silent auction prizes include a signed Trevor Linden jersey and a Canucks jersey signed by the whole team.
Local rippers head to BMX nationals
This past weekend Langley hosted the Borderline Canadian Nationals BMX race, with over 700 riders taking part from across Canada and the U.S. The sport has enjoyed a surge in popularity since its inclusion in the Olympics, including in Sea to Sky with a club and track in Squamish. The fact that many of the top mountain bikers in the world got their start in BMX hasn't been lost on kids or families either.
Whistler's Finn Finestone and Pemberton's Mason Gautrey took part in the events, racing with Squamish BMX. Both are new to the event with their first ever races in July, but it hasn't taken long to climb the ranks.
On the Friday pre-race in Langley Finestone won the 6-year-old novice event, while Gautrey placed third in the 5-year-old final. The first sanctioned races took place on Saturday with larger fields, and both Sea to Sky racers placed second in their first qualifying races to advance to the final. Gautrey picked up a bronze in the 5 Novice category, while Finestone had a crash on the first jump and ended his day in seventh place.
On Sunday Finestone had an axe to grind and placed second in the qualifier once again to advance to the final. He had a bad start in that heat and was last heading into the first berm, but he managed to work his way back into second place and almost passed the leader in the final turn to make it a photo finish.
For the record
In last week's story about Whistler athletes going to the mountain bike world championships in Australia we commented that Tyler Allison was the first Canadian to compete in two disciplines, cross-country and downhill. Actually, while he may be the first male athlete to do so, the honour of being the first Canadian athlete to compete in both disciplines actually belongs to Whistler's Brook Baker.
In the same story we neglected to mention that Squamish rider Miranda Miller will be representing Canada in the women's downhill.