The 2011 edition of the Whistler 5 Peaks Trail Run has been thwarted by about five metres of snow on the high alpine trails that have been used for the course the past eight years. As a result, organizers are going with Plan B, relocating the run to the alpine on Blackcomb, which is south facing and where most of the snow is gone.
"We worked with Whistler Blackcomb to find the best location to hold it," said Chris Colpitts, who is helping to organizing the event. He did an exploratory hike on Whistler last week to verify that there was no way the course would be clear of snow by August 20.
The new courses, which will be announced this week, will be similar in length to the one 5 Peaks runners have seen in the past. The Enduro long course will be at least 10 kilometres in length, while the short Sport course will be around 5km.
The snow hasn't discouraged people from signing up for the race, which is the fourth in the five-race B.C. series. As of last week over 400 people had already registered.
"It's definitely strong and is becoming more sought after from the travelling aspect as well - I have a guy from Tennessee coming out to race on a weekend holiday, which is a big trip," said Colpitts.
This year there will be a prize purse for the top male and female runners in both Sport and Enduro, with $500 for first, $350 for second, $200 for third, $100 for fourth and $50 for fifth.
Online registration is $45 online at www.5peaks.com, or you can register on race day from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Salomon Store for $50. Both races get underway at 11 a.m.
As well, there's a short 1km Children's Challenge race available for $5.
All spectators will need a pass up Whistler Village Gondola, available for a discounted rate of $29.95.