Whistler Valley Trail Run changes tack 

Event taking "low-key" approach to 2015

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO BY ERIC MACKENZIE - on the rebound The Whistler Valley Trail Run made some changes to encourage greater participation this year.
  • File Photo by Eric MacKenzie
  • on the rebound The Whistler Valley Trail Run made some changes to encourage greater participation this year.

Show up, sign up and sprint up and around the Lost Lake Trails.

The Whistler Valley Trail Run is taking a more "low-key" approach to its 24th offering on July 18, explained race director Christine Suter. One major change is that organizers have opted to eschew advance registration in favour of exclusively day-of registration. Those interested in participating can sign up between 7 and 7:45 a.m. on race day at Rebagliati Park.

"We're just trying to keep it simple and hopefully get some people out," said Suter, who hopes to see at least 60 people sign up in either the five- or 10-kilometre option.

She's hoping to see a rebound from 2014, where only 26 people took part. However, last year's event — held in June — had stiff competition in the form of the Comfortably Numb trail race, a gymnastics meet and Father's Day all vying for locals' attention. With a relatively quieter weekend this time around, Suter expects the move to be a fruitful one.

"Last year, we didn't have a very good turnout," she said. "We moved the date a little bit later.

"I'm hoping we can get some of the families that are here for Ironman."

Suter, returning to the organizing committee for the first time since 2010, explained 60 per cent of registrations tended to come on the day of the event anyway, with Whistler operating as a fairly last-minute town. She also noted with so many events scheduled over the course of any given summer, it can be hard to plug in a weekend that sees potential participants with a free schedule so they're not hedging their bets deciding between a handful of options.

"We're getting so busy within the corridor (for) races. There's everything. It's hard to find a weekend that there's not another race happening and people are available and it doesn't conflict with summer holidays," she said. "If you've ever done anything in this town, organized anything in this town, you know that people live off of FOMO — fear of missing out — and so if there's something better happening, they're going to go do that."

Another change for the race this year is that it's making a return to the Rebagliati Park home base after being stationed at Spruce Grove Park since 2010 because of improvements being made at Rebagliati Park.

"People don't have to drive to Spruce Grove. It's all happening right there (in the village)," she said.

Proceeds from the non-profit race go toward the Community Youth Foundation. Registration costs $20 for an individual or $40 for a family.

For more information, visit www.whistlervalleytrailrun.org.


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