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Letter: Vail Resorts did trail-running community dirty

'From Manchester to San Francisco and beyond, I’ve had people revere [Gary] Robbins and the team at CMTR'
We Run Whistler - alpine trail running - BC

Reading Pique and listening to the general opinions of residents in the Sea to Sky, it’s easy to get fatigued with the constant Vail Resorts bashing about lift ticket prices and the quality of the cinnamon rolls, etc. All said and done, Whistler IS an unbelievable place to ski and mountain bike, and what isn’t expensive these days? This week, though, I think Vail took it too far. According to his blog, Vail shafting Coast Mountain Trail Running (CMTR) and Gary Robbins, the figurehead of the tightknit trail-running community, in such a crafty and deceitful way, is lower than a snake’s belly and downright cowardly.

While it might seem redundant, adding fuel to the fire of Vail haters, this latest move necessitates big community action. By this I mean, we should partake in a total boycott of the UTMB race and the Everest race, including no volunteering, promotion, or sponsorship. Vail can staff their races, and the Fairmont can provide the gluttony, but locals, runners, and Whistler-based businesses should support the local race and, in doing so, support the many not-for-profits that CMTR donates a portion of race fees to. From Manchester to San Francisco and beyond, I’ve had people revere Robbins and the team at CMTR. I’d argue there’s not a place in the world where world champions run with people of all abilities, ages, and backgrounds. All of these consistently well-organized and remarkable events are supported by passionate volunteers, illustrating how deep the spirit of genuine community is. The races themselves allow those who live, work, and play on these unceded territories to appreciate our local geographies and their histories. I hope Vail will choose to do better. Lastly, good luck to all the people who run the UTMB and Everest Challenge... I wonder who will hug you when it’s all over?

Tom Barlow // Whistler