Our model AKA "my mom" running "The Johnson"
We ventured up to the East Kootenays this past weekend for a bit of a training retreat. The destination was the village of Radium Hot Springs which is about 15 km north of Invermere. Radium is quite well known to our Albertan neighbours as a summer retreat; however, the recent developments to Panorama Mountain Village coupled with some amazing nordic skiing options has elevated its status to an all-season resort. Radium is part of the Columbia Valley which includes the major communities of Canal Flats, Fairmont Hot Springs, Windermere, and Invermere. Below is a brief review of some of the great training options and potential events for you to enjoy.CYCLING
There are abundant options for those of us who like to hit the road. In fact, Radium is currently one of the host sites for the annual Golden Triangle Ride. This annual cycling event is hosted by the Elbow Valley Cycle Club of Calgary and includes a three day ride starting at Castle Mountain junction (near Banff), heading to Radium, then Golden, and back again. Here are a few possible routes.
- Radium to Golden (about 100k one way)- relatively flat and typically light on traffic. Follows the Columbia River Valley. The only problem is the small shoulder and there can be an abundance of logging trucks during the week.
- Panorama Ride (25-40k return depending on starting point)- legendary trek for the locals due to the initial ascent known as Peter's Hill. This steep climb should not be tackled by inexperienced or poorly conditioned riders. An alternative is to launch from Lillian Lake. If you park at the lake and back-track to the top of Peter's hill before turning around and starting your ride up to Panorama, you will add about 5-6 km to your ride and get a nice warm-up. The ride to Panorama is amazing! You get a lot of slow gradual incline and amazing views along the famous Toby Creek. A word of caution...there can be some falling rock on the road and the creek noise can make communication between riders sketchy.
- Westside Road (45-50k return) - While it is a nice ride and relatively free of traffic, recent neglect has caused major road deterioration. Be prepared for potholes and rough road. The ride has a lot of rollers and some great views of Windermere Lake.
SWIMMING Lake Lillian Trails
The Valley is full of swimming options for open water and pool training.
Radium H.S. Pool - The pool in Radium has a 25m outdoor lane pool which is heated during the winter. It also has the thermal hot springs for your post workout soak.
Fairmont H.S. Pool - About 25 km down the road from Radium. The pool is available for lap swimming year round and tends to be a favourite amongst the locals we talked to.
Windermere Lake - This amazing lake is quite shallow and warms up quickly. It is a big lake so it can get choppy at times and is also swarming with boats after about 10 am during the summer. There are two fantastic beaches in Invermere (Kinsmen Beach and James Chabot Park)
Lillian Lake - Great training lake. Smaller and shallow. The lake warms up early and rarely has waves. It is also right adjacent to amazing running and mountain biking trails. It is also a great place to get at road ride up to Panorama.
MOUNTAIN BIKING & TRAIL RUNNINGThere is no shortage of terrain for those who wish to get off-road. In fact, there are so many trails that you should stop by the local book store for one of several guides. You can also drop into a local bike shop or Crazy Soles in Invermere to find out when a group run/ride is taking place. They are always heading out on the trails so take advantage! Here are a couple of popular trail systems that you should check out.The Old Coach Trail (between Radium & Invermere) - This trail system is old but relatively new. Locals have to honing these trails in recent years to create one of the best network of running and biking treks around. Plenty of double and single track. Well marked and maintained.Lillian Lake (Outside Invermere on the way to Panorama)- The trail system is across the road from Lillian Lake. There are plenty of trails and varying distances. Great variety of terrain and incredible scenery. Trails are well marked and maintained.Juniper (between Radium & Invermere) - Great network of trails but go with a local. The trails are not as well marked at the previous two but this option is a favourite for many local runners. Mt. Swansea (Invermere) - You better be in shape. There are a lot of trails through here that have been adopted by the mountain bike crowd. Plenty of downhill (which means you have to climb it first!). If you get to the top, you will be rewarded. The peak has a launch pad for hang-gliders and a picnic area. You can drive up the mountain road and park if you like. A short hike takes you to the summit. This is the most amazing view that you are ever going to see! Do not miss this opportunity if you are in the Valley.
CHECK OUT OUR PHOTO GALLERY OF THIS RETREAT ON OUR FACEBOOK
PAGE!COOL EVENTS TO NOTE: Crazy Soles Nipika Trail Run, Kootenay Krusher MTB XC, Headbanger Trail Run, Loop the Lake Run, Heart of the Rockies Triathlon, Heart of the Rockies Open Water Swim (new this year)
*SPECIAL NOTE - This area is a golfer's paradise. There are seven amazing golf courses within 20 minutes of Radium Hot Springs including two in Radium (The Springs and the Radium Resort). Now you have a carrot to entice your spouse...you're welcome!
The driving range at The Springs in Radium Hot Springs
At around mile 6. Approximately 10,000 feet.
I rarely discuss events that are outside our BC borders but my vacation to Colorado this summer afforded me an opportunity to participate in a legendary local race. The Vail HIll Climb (presented by La Sportiva) has been happening now for 38 years. This off-road running (crawling) experience is unique to Colorado and Vail locals. Typical of the Vail faithful; the Hill Climb is a measure of fitness, will, and the ability to process oxygen at a super-human rate.
The ski resort is renowned for being one of the largest in North America. It is in a constant battle with Whistler Blackcomb for most skiable acres. Although it is famous for its skiing, it truly is an all-season resort. The famous saying in Vail is the "you come for the winters and end up living here for the summers."
When I arrived in Vail I already had checked into the race and felt that I would sign up on race day if I felt my body was acclimated to the altitude. Naturally, I couldn't check my ego and signed up anyway. After all, how bad could it be? Ooops! The altitude in Vail at the base of the mountain is 8150 feet. By comparison, Lake Louise is the unofficial title holder in Canada at just over 5000 feet. The Hill Climb starts in the Village and ascends 7 miles to the top of the gondola which is at about 11,500 feet. Needless to say, the oxygen is a little thin.
I showed up in the morning and instantly felt out of shape. Colorado is the US outdoor playground and attracts hard core athletes from everywhere. There are athletes in and around Eagle County that could easily compete anywhere but choose to live the laid back local lifestyle offered in the Vail Valley. Over 400 participants were primed for the challenge. I did a quick calculation of my own capabilities and had to convert the distance into metric. I figured that the race was about 12 km so I should be able to finish in about 1:30:00 given the elevation and terrain. Believe it or not, the podium finishers complete this jaunt in about 50 minutes!
The race begins with a short run through the village which serves as a nice little warm-up before the insanity begins. After about .75 miles, you turn and begin your ascent. Congratulations...you are now climbing for 7 miles! The course itself is not spectacular in its terrain. This is just a grind of epic proportions. The views at specific areas of the run are spectacular but it is difficult to enjoy the breathtaking vistas when you are suffering from oxygen depravation. This is essentially a mountain dirt road course that switchbacks up the mountain. Basically, you run the catwalks. It is hard to judge where the difficult parts of the course are because it never lets up on you. The switchbacks are the toughest part of the climb and there are a lot of them. There is only one short flat section at around the 5 mile water station but it is short lived.
I felt that in order to make my goal, I was really going to have to monitor my heart rate. Everything was going as planned and I actually felt pretty good until the unforeseen happened. Cramps! A combination of lack of oxygen supply to the muscles and severe strain from climbing began to seize up my calves and eventually my hammies. The last mile was a combination walk/run and I ended up crossing in 1:36:00.
The medical staff at the top was great and helped me get the muscles to relax, pumped me full of fluid and salts. I have never been so happy to finish a race. The swag bag was fantastic and the shirt was solid. In the end, I can honestly say that it was one of my prouder moments. This was a true challenge and extremely rewarding. If you get the chance to visit the area during the summer you should check out the wide spectrum of trail races offered in Colorado. Competing at that altitude is a unique experience that you will not forget.
Xterra Vernon. Me (right) with my daughter and my tri-newbie friend Brent
I love the sport of triathlon and I am constantly recruiting people to give it a shot. Whenever I encourage someone to "try a tri", the response is predictable: "I feel ok about the run and the bike but the swim scares the shit out of me." I almost start mouthing their response before it even happens because it is the most realistic fear a non-swimmer has about jumping into the sport. Rest assured, when you read what follows, you will feel more confident to give it a shot!
I started training for my first triathlon a few years ago. I am not a seasoned triathlete by any stretch but I did have a solid athletic background as an NCAA and minor pro hockey player. Let me be the first to say, however; that trading shoulder pads for a wetsuit was not the smoothest of transitions. When I hit the pool for my first swim I was greeted with a grim reality: I couldn't swim! Swimming out to the dock at the beach had not prepared me for being able to cover the necessary distance of a triathlon. I tested myself on the first day to see how far I could go. I managed front crawl 1.5 lengths before having to surface and breaststroke my way back to the edge of the pool.
I was demoralized.
A 750 meter swim at this point seemed unattainable. How could I possibly manage to finish the swim section when I could even complete 1/10th of the distance? I splashed around the pool for the next 30 minutes and nearly died of exhaustion. I am sure that the lifeguards were keeping a close eye on the idiot in lane two who was bound to have a heart attack. When I dragged my butt out of the pool, I had never felt so tired in my life.
I almost quit.
Fortunately, my wife was a competitive swimmer in her youth and eased my frustration. She explained to me that swimming was a technical sport and that once I learned to swim correctly that the distance would be surprisingly easy. I was hesitant to believe her at first but I felt that I needed to trust her expertise. I began going to the pool and setting some attainable goals for each session. They were a simple as "swim three lengths without stopping" or "use my backstroke to get me a fourth length." I did this for about 6-8 sessions before I made the most important move of my triathlon journey...I joined a Masters Swim Club.
It wasn't until I began this practices that I started to improve my swim stroke and my body position in the water. Suddenly, I was able to extend my range. I learned how to use different swim tools like pull buoys and flippers to help with my strength and body position. Moreover, I was placed in a group that had other swimmers who were all at one time in the same boat as I was so they were very encouraging and supportive. This was huge for me because I was so intimidated being in a lane with swimmers who made me feel like I was standing still.
After my first night I checked my race calendar. I had nine more Masters practices before my first race. Over the next 6 weeks I improved dramatically. I am not going to lie and say that it was easy but I can honestly say that it did get a lot easier with each session. With the triathlon rapidly approaching, our coach had us complete an 800 meter time trial to measure our progress. I hadn't completed this distance yet so I was nervous but determined. We were given the opportunity to use a pull buoy for assistance but I chose to go without. This was an important mental barrier that I wanted to overcome while safely in the pool rather than in the middle of a race. I needed to know that I could finish the distance. I did.
Overcoming the mental barrier of the swim was the toughest thing I have had to do in triathlon, however; in the greater scheme of things, it really didn't take that long. Since that time I have completed several triathlons and I am now working to complete my first half-iron event. Last year, I went out for a swim with our tri-club and completed about 3k in Kalamalka Lake. I had to stop and afford myself a smile at the thought of my first few sessions in the pool. I also take a lot of pride that I was able to utilize my learning experience to help my mother get into the sport. She could not swim an entire length of the pool when she started. I told her to stay with it and that the first couple of months was "going to suck". She believed me and toughed it out. She completed her first triathlon at 59 years old and is now a mainstay at local events. Furthermore, she now enjoys swimming more than the other two disciplines.
If you are still scared, here are some pointers that may ease your fears.
1. It is ok to be scared. Only experience will help ease your fears.
2. It is ok to suck at swimming. You don't yet know how and you WILL get better.
3. The first 2-3 months of swimming is going to suck. Then suddenly, it will click for you! Do not get discouraged.
4. Join a swim program and/or get some swim instruction. You are just learning and need someone to correct your technique. There are lots of triathlon clubs that will help you get the instruction you need.
5. Guarantee yourself to attend a minimum of 10 coached practices. You will see such a big difference that you won't believe how bad you were at the start.
6. Pick a smaller event for your first triathlon or look for an event that offers wave starts. Fewer people in the water is less intimidating. A try-a-tri might be helpful but it isn't necessary.
7. Find out if the event offers "swim buddies". These are experienced swimmers who volunteer to swim with a nervous first timer.
8. Get in some open water swims before the race in your wetsuit. The compression of a wetsuit will feel funny at first and swimming in a straight line in open water is a skill.
9. Make sure you have a wetsuit designed for swimming. A shorty used for wake-boarding is probably not your best bet. Many local tri-shops will rent you a suit. This will also help with your buoyancy and body position in the water.
10. Breathe as much as you have to. Don't worry about bi-lateral breathing when you are tired. Oxygen is the first priority.
11. Avoid the pit. The pit is the centre of the swim pack and it will feel like a washing machine. Stay to the back or get over to one side of the pack. I like to get out to the side because it is less congested and less likely of having swimmers on either side of you. Furthermore, I don't bi-lateral breathe until the pack thins out. This way I breathe out the side where I am less likely to get kicked or splashed while taking in air.
12. Take a wide berth around the swim buoys. This area gets congested and there is a lot of contact that can cause you to panic.
13. Don't be afraid to use whatever stroke works for you. My wife is an experienced swimmer and I have seen her backstroking during an event.
14. Make sure you have a good warm-up before the race. Cold water can make it hard to breathe if it shocks you.
15. Use the boats if you feel panic. Panic zaps your physical and mental energy. By using a boat, you can calm yourself down and easily recuperate.
16. Don't worry. Completing a triathlon is about mental toughness. If you are thinking of signing up for a triathlon then you are obviously tough already.
17. Lastly, once you finish your first race you have to convince a friend that being scared shitless is normal and share your story!
There are a million tips that triathletes can give you as you tackle that first swim. I am sure there will be people that offer their recipe for success on the blog. If you are interested in doing your first triathlon and don't know where to start, drop us a line and we can help you get on the right path!We would love to hear your comments. Drop us a line in the comments section below and subscribe to our blog feed by clicking the RSS button on the page or follow us on facebook at facebook.com/bcracereview. Send us your photos. Our email is email@example.com
Wasa Lake is located about 30 minutes north of Cranbrook. Every year in June, the small community of Wasa has their town invaded by multi-sport enthusiasts. The Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon has grown into an early season behemoth. Albertans invade the BC border and they bring their kids too. The triathlon features a Saturday KOS event followed on Sunday by a sprint and Olympic distance race. Typically, the water at Wasa is quick to warm which makes this event popular for Albertans looking for an event that they can take a weekend trip to. This year; however, the weather was not cooperative leading up to the race and the water temperature was frigid. The swim portion had to be cancelled for the under 9 year olds and the Olympic swim was shortened to 750 meters. Although the water temperature was unusually cold, the event did go off as planned and had approximately 800 competitors between the kids and adult races. The following is a run down of the course and the organization of the day.
Wasa Lake is typically one of the warmest lakes in the Kootenays. That is why this location is selected as the first race in the area of the season. However, this is still the mountains and if the spring weather has been late to arrive, the water can still be frigid. Wasa is a smaller lake which helps keep the waters relatively calm in comparison should the wind pick up. The swim course is set up in a standard 750 meter triangle formation. The offer 2 wave starts; one for the sprint and one for the Olympic distance racers. This does help ease the congestion but it will still be a bit of a washing machine for the newer competitors. Athletes exit the water onto a mat and into transition. A nice touch for this race is that they had wet-suit strippers available. This was important this year as hands were pretty cold and not always functional immediately after coming out of the water. Kayakers and boats were present to insure that swimmers were safe.
The Wasa Tri is renowned for being fast. The community is located in an extremely flat section of the Columbia Valley. Recent changes to the bike course have added some small rollers but the course is still very quick. Moreover, the section that the bike course was on is freshly paved and provided a smooth and comfortable ride for the competitors. The course is open to traffic as you will be riding on highway but plenty of volunteers lined the course to direct traffic and the newly paved road provides a nice shoulder for riding.
The run is a combination of small paths and trails but it is pancake flat and super-fast. The run course is mostly the same for both the sprinters and Olympic distance athletes (Olympic racers run past the Sprinters turn-around point and head for their own). Aid stations are set up and the course is well marked and occupied with volunteers.
This race has been going on for a long time and the organizers know what they are doing. Besides, they must be doing something right to get this kind of turn-out for an early season event. This event also serves as one of the Provincial Race Series races so valuable points are up for grabs. The transition area was one issue that received some complaints. There was no assigned spots and some felt that in a race of this size that assigned transition spots would be nice. This is a chip timed event and the TriBC officials are on site to insure that rules are being followed. There was plenty of sponsorship for this event and the participants commented on the great prizes and buffet. Cash prizes are awarded for Sprint and Olympic winners for men and women. The organizers did keep everything moving and kept a solid schedule. Here are a couple of comments from an athlete who participated:
"Great set ups, food after for athletes was well set up with several buffet lines so you moved through quickly and lots of fresh fruit for snacking right after you were done."
"Closing ceremonies started right on time as did everything, loads of door prizes that you had to be there to win including a complete running out fit, 8 pairs of shoes and a wet suit. If you weren't there they just tossed them to the crowd so lots of fun."
"Kicking Horse Coffee wagon was there both days and on Saturday it was a real hit serving loads of coffee and hot chocolate to the freezing parents and kids." - Joanne K. 60-64 Age Cat.
WHO IS THIS RACE GOOD FOR?
This race will service a lot of needs. If you are a speed demon and looking for a PR; this course gives you a shot. If you are a newby or looking to challenge your first Olympic, then this event provides a friendly course to get you through the day. If you want to do a race but you are dragging three kids with you, then this event provides something for you too. The KOS event has become a major draw and now has nearly as many participants as the adult races. NOTE: Sign up early for this event as it sells out quickly.
Kudos to NOCS for maintaining these trails!
XTERRA racing is here and it is not going anywhere. This popular adaptation to triathlon is gaining momentum and putting smiles on the faces of its participants. Vernon hosted one of the two XTERRA events in the Okanagan on June 17th at Ellison Provincial Park. This particular event offered *Full and Sport triathlon distances as well as Full and Sport Duathlon options. Even though the weather had been dicey for the previous few days, the course was in great condition and the weather held off long enough to get a great race in. We were there for the race and participated. It was our first experience challenging XTERRA style racing and we can confirm that it won't be our last. The following is a run down of the course and race organization.
*Full XtTriathlon (1500sw, 25k mtb, 10k run) Sport (750, 12.5, 5k)THE COURSE
The course is set at Ellison Provincial Park in Vernon, BC. The beach is located at the bottom of a hill just below the provincial camp ground. The swim course was situated in a nice little bay area which allowed the water to be relatively calm. The course was a single lap for sport distance (2 laps for full) that followed slightly skewed triangle course (think scalene not equilateral for you geo whizzes). The water temperature was chilly but not bad (about 15 celcius) and the course was well mapped and defined. After exiting the water, the transition corral is only about 100 meters. This is where the race gets interesting. Once on the bike, you have a nasty climb out of the beach area up to the camp ground. After a brief reprieve through they campground the climb resumes as you exit along the road up to the Ellison Bike trails. In all this section of the course accounts for about 1-1.5 km. Once you hit the trails, you will quickly begin your ascent. The first climbs are tough but manageable. The most difficult part of the bike course is the beginning as you are forced to navigate a lot of technical turns, embedded rocks and roots, and increased elevation. In total, you will probably be climbing from the time you transition to the top for about 3-3.5 km. The great part is that once you are at the top, the course really levels out and generates some great technical turns, flowing flats, and short rolling hills. The Ellison Park bike trails are well maintained and an extremely enjoyable riding experience. The final part of the course can get a little hairy for inexperienced riders as you come down hill quite rapidly. With a little caution though, this section is easily manageable. The course pays back your effort with a same descent back into transition which gives you a chance to stretch your legs and prepare for the run.
The run course is different for the Full and Sport distance participants. Sport racers remain on the lower trails and do 2 loops of the course while the Full course participants head out on to some of the trails on the bike course (which don't interfere with the riders). The trails are really cool mixture of short climbs, some loose rock scrambles (very moderate), and flowing single track sections. You will enjoy this run. The final stretch is all downhill to the finish area which is located at the beach. ORGANIZATION
This was the second year for this event and a lot of the issues of the inaugural event were recognized and properly dealt with. We felt like the organizers did a very good job marking the bike course and having personel stationed at key points along the course. We actually rode the course the night before to make sure we knew where we were going and had no problem navigating the correct path. This was not an overly large event so course congestion was not an issue; however, the directors did have wave starts for the Sport and Full triathlon/duathlon for insurance. The swag bag was pretty average but you did get a high quality shirt ($20 extra on your registration fee but definitely worth it). There were aid stations set up strategically and St. John's Ambulance was there to provide medical attention. This was not a chip timed event but we felt the timing was fairly accurate. There were goodies and drinks available at the end of the race and a fundraiser bbq. WHO IS THIS RACE GOOD FOR?
In a word: EVERYONE! We absolutely loved our first experience with XTERRA style events. We strongly encourage the traditional triathletes to get dirty and have some fun. A word of caution though. Make sure that you scope out the bike course in advance to determine you bike needs. Unlike a local sprint triathlon where you can ride whatever is in your garage and still finish, the same can't be said for going off-road. We rode the Ellison course in advance on our $400 lightweight hard-tail MTB and got annihilated. We quickly decided to rent a couple of good full-suspension 29'ers from the boys at Sky-Ride and had an amazing experience. Even if you are not into the swimming component, the XTERRA events usually offer a duathlon option. If you have been supplementing your tri workouts with a lot of trail running or mountain biking then you really need to give XTERRA a try. We flat out loved this event and are now planning to make off-road events a mainstay in our seasonal race planning.*VISIT OUR PHOTO GALLERY FOR PICTURES OF THIS EVENT
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The Okanagan Shuswap Century Ride is a tradition that has been going on now for 13 years. This event was tiny in stature when it began but has evolved into a large mass ride that sells out quickly. Over 400 riders challenged this metric century which takes participants from Armstrong through rolling farmlands into Salmon Arm and back again. The weather could not have been better for the 2012 running. Moreover, the date was special this year as it also landed on the same day that Ryder Hesjedal won the Giro d'Italia. With good vibes, good weather, and good friends, the ride seemed like there was a tail wind at your back at all times. Here is a brief run-down of the course and organization of the event.THE COURSE
The ride starts at the Centennial Park in Armstrong and weaves its way through some residential areas before finally grabbing a hold of rural roadways on the outskirts of town. Riders then follow well paved rural roads all the way to Salmon Arm (about 55k). This portion of the ride is scenic but challenging with lots of rolling hills but no major climbs; however, That all changes once you hit Salmon Arm. A steep long climb out of Salmon Arm greets you at about 55-60 km into the ride. This hill is no picnic so be prepared. After that, there are a few climbs to do but they generally pale in comparison. Eventually you connect back with the original road and cruise back into Armstrong for the finish. A map of the course is at the bottom.ORGANIZATION
The event is well organized but it is a century ride so it is not a timed event. The riders had no real identifying markers or numbers to indicate that they were participating so it was not difficult for a few unscrupulous individuals to bandit the course. Overall, the event went fairly smooth. The organizers had aid stations on the route and a couple of support vehicles patrolled the course to assist with any mechanical issues that riders may come across. Even though this is an open course, there were some volunteers running traffic control at busy intersections within the city limits.WHO IS THIS RIDE GOOD FOR?
Realistically, anyone who has had minimal riding experience should be ok on this ride because of the multiple distance choices (56 km option is available). This ride really allows participants to work together in packs and go at your own pace. You will have to have some solid riding experience to tackle the century though. There are a couple of climbs that are no joke especially the hike out of Salmon Arm. If you are looking for a metric century that offers a good challenge, support, and low-key appeal then the OSCR is definitely for you.*VISIT OUR PHOTO GALLERY FOR PICTURES OF THIS EVENTWe would love to hear your comments. Drop us a line in the comments section below and subscribe to our blog feed by clicking the RSS button on the page or follow us on facebook at facebook.com/bcracereview. Send us your photos. Our email is email@example.com
Annually on May Long Weekend
The annual Peach City Half Marathon & 10k runs every year in Penticton, BC on May Long Weekend. The event is hosted by the Peach City Runners and boasts two distance options of 10k and half marathon. We took the trip down to check out the event and enjoyed perfect race conditions as we cheered on the participants. The following is a brief rundown on the course, organization, and highlights of the 2012 race.THE COURSE
The 10k and Half Marathon courses truly mimic each other. The race begins at Skaha Beach before taking a quick detour north along Skaha Lake Road through some residential and downtown sectors. After about a 1.5-2k the runners turn back south and head down South Main Street which turns into Lakeside Road. It is at this point where athletes will be running adjacent to Skaha Lake until they reach their turn-aournd point. The turn-around for the 10k racers is at about the 7.5k mark where the half marathoners will go out to about 13k. After the turn-around, the runners head back towards Skaha Beach and are eventually re-directed down the Skaha Beach Promenade towards the finish line. The course itself is fairly flat with a few minor hills that will need to be managed or exploited if you are in attack mode. The course is open so you will have to be mindful of traffic; however, the organizers did have safety cones and volunteers managing traffic at critical sections. You will need to be paying attention to your last turn-off onto the promenade. Although it was marked with cones, there were a few tired athletes that nearly ran past the final turn-off. ORGANIZATION
The event was very well organized. This is Penticton after all and it seems like every event is a dress rehearsal for Ironman. Volunteers in this town know how to put on an event and the community is very supportive. The course was well laid out and there were plenty of volunteers. Medics were on hand if needed and aid stations were strategically placed along the course. There was tons of snacks and drinks for the athletes after the race. Most importantly, there was great music and commentary at the finish line to welcome the well deserved participants as they crossed the line.WHO IS THIS RACE GOOD FOR?
If you are planning to do your first 10k or first half marathon then this course is a good choice. It is relatively flat and you won't be tripping over competitors on the course. This is really a great event for any 10k or half marathoner looking for an event on a long weekend (there aren't many). Besides...do you really need a big excuse to visit Penticton? If you are planning to enter the race though, you should be able to run the distance that you have signed up for. *VISIT OUR PHOTO GALLERY FOR PICTURES OF THIS EVENTWe would love to hear your comments. Drop us a line in the comments section below and subscribe to our blog feed by clicking the RSS button on the page or follow us on facebook at facebook.com/bcracereview. Send us your photos. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org
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Sprint finish along the promenade
On the home stretch after the turnaround.
The Run to Finish Huntington's Disease is an annual event that runs across Canada. There are several locations that host a spectrum of events. We stopped in Vernon to check out the 5k Run/Walk that was put on to help raise money and awareness for this debilitating illness. The following is a brief rundown of the course and organization of the 2012 event.THE COURSE
The course should be very familiar to local triathletes as the Kal RATS Sprint Triathlon originally set the run course for its event. Participants have a beautiful start location at Kinsmen Beach and head out for about 1.5 km of fairly flat terrain that takes them up into some residential and hobby farm areas. After about 1.5 km, the course throws a hill at you that would be classified as moderate to difficult depending on your level of fitness. The hill is about 200-300 meters long. After the hill you will hit a small rolling section and then drop down a short (but very steep) hill towards the turnaround point. After turning around, you are greeted by a nasty little climb that is short but steep. From here on in, the course is fairly flat with a couple of downhill sections. Overall, the course is a nice little run with a couple of challenges. The course rating would be moderate difficulty for a 5k road race. ORGANIZATION
The event organization was good. The event is not chip timed nor are the results recorded. This is a fun event and the organizers made sure that people were welcomed and the environment was participatory. There were a couple of volunteers from Good Life Fitness that showed up to lead a warm up with some fancy Zumba moves which was well received. The course was very easy to follow. It was open to traffic but it had a couple of volunteers doing traffic control duties at a couple of intersections. There was an aid station on the course. The event was open to walkers and strollers. There was a great little barbecue at the end of the race and the participants went home happy. The only shortcoming of the event was the promotion of the race itself. There were only about 50+ participants that attended. It is also on Mother's Day weekend and had to compete with some other big events that draw a lot of athletes in the area. WHO IS THIS RACE GOOD FOR?
This is a fun run. This is not a competitive event. If you want to get out with some friends and raise money for a good cause then this is a great little run for you. If you have a infant that you would like to push around or a mom/dad that needs the exercise, then drag them out and have some fun. This race is purely a fundraiser so please treat it as such. *VISIT OUR PHOTO GALLERY FOR PICTURES OF THIS EVENTWe would love to hear your comments. Drop us a line in the comments section below and subscribe to our blog feed by clicking the RSS button on the page or follow us on facebook at facebook.com/bcracereview. Send us your photos. Our email is email@example.com
The 20k riders enjoying lake views
The 2012 edition of the Cycle for Independence took place this past weekend in Vernon. This local event has now been going on for 13 years! The ride is a charity event to raise awareness and funds for youth living with disabilities. This is a non-competitive event that can serve as a nice training ride with friends or a fun day on the road with family or first timers. The following is a brief rundown of the course and event organization.
There are two distinct courses that are laid out for the 20k and 50k riders. If you are reading this blog, you probably aren't concerned with the 20k but we'll give you a brief course description nonetheless. The 20k course takes riders primarily through the town on bike routes and through residential areas. You will get a nice ride along Lakeshore Drive which parallels Okanagan Lake. The course is for the most part flat with one hill climb at around 15km. Alexis Park Drive is about .75km climb and can be a push for anyone lacking bike experience but the riders yesterday varied in ability and still made it without too much difficulty. There is a watering station along the beach for those who need it. The course is not marshalled and there is very little in the way of ride support. The course is open and not traffic controlled.
The 50k loop is actually closer to 55k. It is a nice ride and is popular amongst the local cycling enthusiasts. Starting from the downtown location, riders head out onto Highway 6 and then quickly turn down onto Kalamalka Lake road. Riders will pass by Kal Beach and continue on through some of Coldstream's farmland before hooking back up to Highway 6 once again. The course remains on Highway 6 for a short duration before weaving through some of the farm areas of Lavington (which is the turnaround point). On the way back, the riders are re-directed off of Highway 6 and up onto Buchanan Road. This road is light on traffic and offers some nice rollers and scenic views. Buchanan re-connects with Highway 6 which takes the participants back into town for the finish. The course does a nice job of mixing up some flats with a few short climbs and some nice rollers. The overall difficulty of the ride is moderate. It also limits the amount of highway and heavy traffic exposure. There was an aid station but it is probably not necessary for anyone riding this distance.
The event organization was very low key. This is not a huge event and the coordinating staff do a commendable job given the fact that they had no real biking experience. The start/finish of the course could be changed to avoid the downtown sector. Although the 20k loop does its best to avoid high traffic areas, it still forces the riders through a couple of sections that might make parents hesitant about bringing their children. The 50k course is very nice and easily manageable for a rider with moderate experience. The athletes were treated afterwards with some post race goodies, free pizza, and a rub down courtesy of Okanagan Valley College of Massage Therapy. Most importantly, this event raised some money and was only $25 to enter. Athletes could also win prizes for raising the most money through pledge sponsorship. Participants can download registration forms from their site; however, there is no online registration. Registration is primarily done day-of or through mail-in/drop-off.
WHO IS THIS EVENT GOOD FOR?
This race is a good event for experienced riders looking for a nice training day with friends while raising money for a good cause. If you live within an hour or are in town for the weekend then it is worth your while. It is also a nice event for less experienced riders or younger athletes but we wouldn't recommend it for kids under the age of 14 due to the traffic element. At $25, It's hard to beat the price. Besides, your great day on the course is also helping make someone else's life a little better.
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Beautiful farmland ride through Coldstream and Lavington
*VISIT OUR PHOTO GALLERY FOR PICTURES OF THIS EVENTWe would love to hear your comments. Drop us a line in the comments section below and subscribe to our blog feed by clicking the RSS button on the page or follow us on facebook at facebook.com/bcracereview. Send us your photos. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Participants along the Overlander Bridge in Kamloops
Every year the Kamloops Daily News rallies the city around a new cause through their annual running of the Boogie on the Bridge. The unique feature behind this event is the music. There are live bands playing throughout the course to inspire the participants and create an atmosphere reflective of the good nature of the event. This year was no different as over 1800 participants signed up to challenge the 1k, 5k, 10k, or half marathon course. This is a big event and there were hundreds of volunteers, sponsors, and emergency personnel required to pull off the event. The following is a brief run-down of the course and organization of the race.THE COURSE
There are varying distances for this event and they all have the same start and finish area. For the 1k scramble, the runners stay in the downtown core but for the rest of the participants, the Overlander Bridge serves as the destination point after a brief jaunt through downtown. Once over the bridge, there is a pivotal junction where volunteers herd the runners towards their course. The 5k runners have their turn-around point shortly after crossing the bridge. The 10k and half marathoners; however, continue on a route that takes them along the river until their specified turn-around point. The course difficulty varies depending on the distance. The 5k racers will find the the course will have some hilly sections in it. The finish stretch is a straight climb for about a half kilometre that is neither difficult nor friendly. The 10k and half marathon runners will notice less of the hills as they have a long section from the bridge to the turn-around and back that is primarily flat. The downtown is the only section that really provides some hilly sections. For these runners, it is only a fraction of the course. The weather on this day was perfect and for the most part the runners are fairly sheltered. The only area that you are likely to find wind to be a factor is the bridge but it was fairly calm on this day. The course is a closed course and has volunteers that coordinate and direct traffic. Police and Fire were on hand to assist in this process. ORGANIZATION
The race organization was solid. In a race this size there are hundreds of volunteers needed for coordination. There did seem to be some confusion over the start time of the second wave of runners but for the most part the race went off without a hitch. There was plenty of support along the course with several aid stations, paramedics, and race coordinators directing athletes as they made their way through the course. One area of concern was the head start of the half marathon racers. Many of the lead runners were already on their way back and ran into a large bottle neck of 5k runners/walkers near the junction. By this time the Overlander Bridge was packed with participants and many of the runners had to weave their way through a lot of congestion (which included children). None of the athletes seemed to mind too much but it could affect results. Overall the race was a good event that raised over $120,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Kamloops and area. Way to go everybody!WHO IS THIS RACE GOOD FOR?
The race is first and foremost a fundraiser. The atmosphere is fantastic and the participants really seem to enjoy themselves. However, this is not your race if you are a type A speed demon. You can still post a good time but keep in mind the reason you are out on the course is more important than your PR. This race is excellent for anyone who wants to get outside and support a great cause or complete a new distance. It is open to walkers, strollers, and kids. There are a ton of activities and music is abundant. Make it an annual stop on your calendar if you live in the area.
*VISIT OUR PHOTO GALLERY FOR PICTURES OF THIS EVENTWe would love to hear your comments. Drop us a line in the comments section below and subscribe to our blog feed by clicking the RSS button on the page or follow us on facebook at facebook.com/bcracereview. Send us your photos. Our email is email@example.com