Registration is going strong in the final days before the 21 st annual Cheakamus Challenge Fall Classic Mountain Bike Race, with the help of a good weather forecast and an added short course race that includes most of the technical singletrack. Is also doesnt hurt that the race is the final of five events in the B.C. Cup Marathon series this year.
Online registration is still available at www.cheakamuschallenge.com , and registration is also available on the morning of the race at the Squamish Airport in Brackendale.
This race follows a slightly different course with the addition of new trails in the Whistler Interpretive Forest, and a new finish line in Whistler Creek. The regular route is now marginally shorter at 70.3 km in length but with an estimated 1,900 metres of climbing. The short course is just shy of 39 km, but includes all of the technical singletrack and most of the hardest climbs.
"Things are looking good. We have a battle for first place with both Roland Green and Andreas Hestler in the field, and I know Andreas is going for the triple crown after winning all of our local races," said organizer Grant Lamont. "There are some other strong contenders in there as well, men and women, so anything can happen.
"We pre-rode the course this week and its in awesome shape for racing. I think were going to see some faster times than weve seen in the last few years."
Lamont is still looking for a few volunteers to help out this weekend. If you can donate some time on Saturday, drop by Dustys on Friday at 5 p.m. for a volunteer meeting. Course marshals and first aid responders are needed. Volunteers receive schwag, a chance to win draw prizes, and food and refreshments at the post-race celebration at Dustys.
The Dustys party should be one of the best yet with a band, DJ, footage of the race, a barbecue and prizes for every competitive category. The awards get underway at 5 p.m.
This year the Cheakamus Challenge will also raise funds for the annual Cops For Cancer ride. Two dollars from every entry will go to the Cops for Cancer charity, and donations will be accepted at the start line and at the finish. There will also be a silent auction at Dustys with items up for bids including rounds of golf at local courses, gift certificates for local restaurants, a snowboard, an iPod, a carving, Zip Trek and ATV tours, and autographed sticks from Vancouver Canucks Trevor Linden and Dan Cloutier.
The Cops For Cancer charity ride will also leave from Dustys after the race, with members of the RCMP riding from community to community to raise funds and pledges.
For more information on the 2005 Cheakamus Challenge, visit www.cheakamuschallenge.ca.