With great challenges come great awards. Organizer Jennie Helmer is making that promise to participants in the ninth annual Lumpys Epic Fall Classic run this Saturday.
"It starts at One Mile Lake. We run up switchbacks into the mountain and straight up the hill. You get up to the top and the view is amazing," said Helmer. "To the right you see Green River and to the left you see the golf course and airport. Its absolutely stunning! But you have to do the work to get there."
The 12 km run is in honour of the late Geoff "Lumpy" Leidal, a Pemberton man who died in an avalanche in the Selkirk Mountains in January, 1998. The run takes place on Lumpys Epic, the trail his friends created as a living memorial.
While an entry fee of $15 goes to support a local childrens sports organization (TBA), Lumpys Epic Classic is definitely not a kids event.
"Its very rough. No water breaks. Its not a great one for kids because there are no spotters. Its all marked, but you have to pay attention to the flags. Its not like running through the village where someone tells you to turn left when you get to a certain corner," warned Helmer.
In past years participants have had to deal with the problems that early snowfalls can cause on the trails, the reason the race is held at 10 a.m. instead of the more usual 9 a.m. starting time.
"It gives the snow another hour to melt off," said Helmer.
However, what makes Lumpys Epic Classic unique is the events potluck aspect. Participants are encouraged to bring after-run goodies and warm beverages to share. The result is a friendly, social post-run atmosphere.
"You stumble into base-camp, totally spent and feel like youve really accomplished something," said Helmer. "Being able to socialize and share both food and the experience just feels right."
Registration is at 9 a.m. at One Mile Lake. Average running time for the 12 km course is one hour, 15 minutes; typical hiking times are estimated at two hours. The race starts precisely at 10 a.m.
For more information, or to sign up to volunteer, call Helmer at 604-894-0024.