There are few words to describe how the race organizing committee and board of directors feel following the inaugural running of The North Face Whistler Half Marathon. Initial feedback from runners was that the race was amazing and one of the best that some had ever done! Needless to say, those are words to be very proud of and humbled by; but the reasons for those comments stem from something very special. A community.
Mother Nature showed her best side on Saturday morning when 725 runners set out from Whistler Olympic Plaza to run the 21.1km route through five of Whistler's neighbourhoods following a track made up of municipal roadways and our amazing Valley Trail system. But it wasn't just that the sun was shining in Whistler, it was the residents, visitors, businesses and even the wildlife that shone that morning. As runners made their way through Whistler Cay, Blueberrry, Alta Vista, White Gold and Spruce Grove, they were encouraged by many members of our community to deliver their very best - and their best they did. The pack was led by the blistering pace of Jim Finlayson from Victoria, B.C. with a time of just over 1 hour, 9 minutes - but Jim was not the only race champion that day - everyone who crossed the finish line won their own race in this new event!
Thank you to all the race participants for choosing to run right here in Whistler - we know that you have so many races to choose from in the year - we are flattered that you chose our event. We look forward to seeing you all again. Thank you to all the businesses that jumped on the idea of holding a half marathon here in Whistler, particularly those who believed in this from when it was just an idea a few years ago. A huge thanks to the community for getting out there and cheering on the athletes. From the ladies in the bathrobes and curlers, to the people who set up the balloon arch, to those of you with music playing, or sitting in your lawn chairs as the runners went by - each of you added so much to the experience for the runners - you all were noticed and appreciated by the athletes.
And last but not least to the folks at the heart of the event: our team. To the race weekend volunteers who gave up precious sunny hours to be a part of our event - you were an enormous part of what made this such a great experience from start to finish - THANK YOU - events like this don't happen without you.