Busy race weekend ahead 

Trail runs, triathlon this Saturday, Sunday

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This coming weekend is one of the busiest of the year with a total of five events, including two local trail runs and a triathlon. The other events, the NimbyFifty and Crud 2 Mud, are on pages 44 and 50 respectively.

WHistler Valley Trail Run

Whether you're tapering your training for the Whistler Half Marathon or ramping up for future events, the annual Whistler Valley Trail Run this Sunday, May 27 is a great way to get into the running season.

The race is based out of Spruce Grove with both 5km and 10km courses available. The course sticks to crushed gravel doubletrack in Lost Lake, but has enough hills to make it challenging.

Day of race registration is available at 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. and the race gets underway at 9 a.m. You can also sleep in a little more by registering at the Run With It store at Nesters from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

An individual entry is $25, and family entries are $45, with all proceeds going towards the Youth Community Foundation of Whistler for youth projects. The 2011 run raised $2,800 for the fund, which provides grants to projects that benefit youth in the community.

As well as the main event there is also the annual Teddy Bear Trot for kids, taking place at roughly 10:15 a.m. Free for kids 10 and under, all of the participants will get a loot bag at the finish.

The category awards and draw prizes will be presented at noon at the Dubh Linn Gate. As well, athletes that participate in both the Whistler Try-a-Tri/Whistler Kids Triathlon on Saturday and Whistler Valley Trail Run on Sunday will be recognized.

For more, visit www.whistlervalleytrailrun.org.

Whistler triathlon saturday

Triathlons are the ultimate test of fitness in many ways because you have to swim, bike and run in the same event, but that's not saying you can't dabble in the sport. Even Ironman Canada is partially populated with recreational athletes whose only goal is to make it to the finish before the timer turns off at midnight.

Every triathlete has to start somewhere, and the Whistler Triathlon Club has created beginner events that take place this Saturday morning — The Whistler Kids Triathlon and adult Try-a-Tri. The registration deadline was on Monday for both events.

The distances are shorter than sprint distance triathlons. Kids aged eight to 11 swim 100 metres at Meadow Park Sports Centre, bike 2km and run 1km. Kids 12 to 15 swim 300 metres, bike 10km and run 3km. Kids aged 16 to 18 swim 500 metres, bike 14km and run 4km.

Adults swim just 300 metres, bike 14km and run 4km.

If you've registered, package pickup is from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday at Sport Stop, and from 7 to 7:45 a.m. on Saturday at Meadow Park.

Body marking for kids starts at 6:45 a.m. and the transition area must be set up by 7:45 a.m. The first youth racers are in the pool for 8:15 a.m., and the adults race at 9 a.m.

Organizers are always looking for volunteers to help out. If you can spare some time on Saturday morning, email marieanne.prevost@gmail.com.

Drivers should also be aware that the bike course uses Alta Lake Road. There are no closures, but drivers should be aware that there will be racers on the road on Saturday morning.

Loop the Lakes runs Sunday

Loops the Lakes returns to Squamish this year with a new month and additional categories — including a challenging half marathon course on some of Howe Sound's best singletrack.

This Sunday, May 27 marks the second year for the Squamish Loop the Lakes trail run, organized by Challenge By Choice coaching centre and ultra runner Jen Segger.

The event includes three different course options — 8km, 15km and 21km — all based out of Alice Lake Provincial Park. As well, there's a free 1km kids race.

Day of race registration is from 7 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. at the $45, $50 or $55 at 7 a.m. depending what distance you choose. The 21km Half Marathon race gets underway at 8 a.m., the 15km race at 8:30 a.m. and the 8km race at 9 a.m.

The 8km race starts at the Alice Lake parking area and follows the Four Lakes trail up to the Bob McIntosh Memorial Trail, Dead End Loop, Mini Tracks, Rock n' Roll and Rob's Corners back to the Four Lakes Trail and Alice Lake.

The 15km race starts off with a lap of Alice Lake and continues out on the Four Lakes Trail to Mike's Loop, followed by a selection of trails include Entrails, Roller Coaster, Lumberjack's, Around the Rock and Jack's Trail back to Alice Lake.

The 21km half marathon distance is the same as the 15km race until Jack's Trail gets back to Alice Lake. From there, runners will head back up and around Four Lakes Trail in the opposite direction.

For more on the event, visit www.challengebychoice.ca.

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