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"It was a late start to the season this year, but this is a good race to get up to speed and you don't need to do a lot of training to enter," said event direct Marie-Anne Prevost. "We're actually expecting a good turnout this year for the adult race, as a group from Vancouver is using this as their training goal."
The Every Woman In The World health and wellness conference has also added two new packages this year that include either the triathlon or Whistler Valley Trail Run, as well as up to five other workshops.
The Whistler Valley Trail Run is turning 18 this year. This is also the fourth year that the race has gone off-road, following gravel trails through Lost Lake Park instead of the paved trails around the Whistler Golf Course.
There are two categories, 5 km and 10 km, with new courses for both. With construction at Rebagliati Park and the entrance to Lost Lake, the run will start and finish at Spruce Grove Park this year.
The 5 km route follows Lower Panorama to Molly Hogan, and back again following Lost Lake Loop and Old Mill Road. The 10 km route keeps going at Lost Lake, following Vimy Ridge and then Tin Pants back to the start/finish area.
Both courses start with a lap around the baseball field to break up the pack before heading into the park.
"There's a lot of uphill from the start this year... but then it gets easier and faster," said organizer Christine Suter. "We wanted to have the same course as the last few years but it was impossible. There's something to be said for making it different as well."
This year the Whistler Valley Trail Run kicks off the Sea 2 Sky Trail Running Series, which includes Comfortably Numb, STORMY, Loop the Lakes, Rubble reek and Lumpy's Epic.
Early bird registration is available until May 8 for $20, going up to $25 until race day. All proceeds go to the Community Foundation of Whistler's youth fund.
You can sign up online at www.whistlervalleytrailrun.org until end of day on May 22, and in person from noon to 4 p.m. on May 23 and from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. on race day, May 24. The race gets underway at 9 a.m.
Also back this year is the annual Teddy Bear Trot. This is a free event, open to kids 10 and under. Kids run with their bears and parents around a short course, and everybody gets a prize.