While the fall rainy season is upon us and most people are already looking forward to winter, there's still a lot of running to be done in the fall — including a 50-mile (80km) ultra run you can do as a solo or as a member of a team of eight.
Rubble Creek Classic
This is one of the longest running trail events in the corridor, dating back to 1985 — although it wasn't an official race until recently. It's also one of the most scenic races out there, taking runners across the Cheakamus River and up the Helm Creek Trail into the cinder flats behind Black Tusk. The descent, which is half the event's 24km distance, drops runners through Taylor Meadows and down the Rubble Creek Trail.
The 2013 event takes place on Sunday, Sept. 29 and is limited to 80 runners to reduce wear and tear on the trails, as well as conflicts with other trail users. The Rubble Creek Trail is a popular route in the fall.
The total vertical gain is 1,338 metres, with the steepest climbing about 2km out of the start at the Cheakamus Lake parking lot, with a net vertical drop of 1,592 metres to the Rubble Creek Parking Lot.
There's no shuttle and the start and finish are far apart, so runners have to figure out rides and carpooling. If you can team up with another driver, you can leave one car at the finish and drive to the start.
Registration is available online at en.escaperoute.ca/events/rubblecreek.aspx for $39.
Runners should also keep in mind that there are no aid stations, and they should be self-supported with food and water from start to finish. Runners can also expect anything at that time of year, including the potential for snow and ice.
Whistler Spirit Run
The Whistler Spirit Run on Sept. 29 is a traditional cross-country running race, with a wide range of course distances available for all ages and categories, plus elementary, high school and university categories.
The open male and female categories, plus university and masters divisions, start at 11 a.m. with a 6km course for women and an 8km course for men. The Elementary 12 and Under race is at noon on a 2km course, the Junior High 15 and Under race starts at 12:30 p.m. with a 3km course, and the Senior High 17 and Under race starts at 1:15 p.m. with a 4km women's course and 5km men's course.
As well, there's a 1km Family Fun Run at 2 p.m., followed by a 4x2km relay with Corporate Club and Family Divisions.
The emphasis is on participation, and prices range from $12 fro kids to $16 for adults. The relay is $30 per team in the corporate category and $25 for teams.
For more information and registration, visit www.whistlerspiritrun.com.
Whistler 50 Relay and Ultra
Back for a third year on Oct. 19, the Whistler 50 replaced the popular Haney to Harrison ultra and relay on the BC Athletics calendar.
The course is similar to past years with a 12km loop and an 8 km loop, and relay exchanges are at Whistler Olympic Plaza and Whistler Passive Haus. Ultra runners going the full 80km will be passing through the exchanges eight times as well.
Relay teams can have up to eight members, although there were several teams last year with just four members.
The 13km loop takes runners on the Valley Trail to Blueberry Drive, and over the top of Blueberry Drive to the Valley Trail that leads to Meadow Park. From there, runners cross under the highway and do a loop of Lost Lake Park to the exchange as Passive House. The 7km loop takes runners back through Lost Lake Park to the campground, down Mons Road, through Spruce Grove and back to the village and the second exchange.
The price is $90 on Sept. 24 for relay teams and solo athletes pay $95. Online registration closes at midnight on Oct. 8. Visit www.bcathletics.org/whistler50/.