Although it only existed in an official sense for one September three years ago, local residents and event organizers have grown attached to the idea of the Month of Pain — doing as many local endurance events in the month of September as they can, and enjoying the outdoors as much as possible before the weather changes.
This year Pique Newsmagazine will revive the Month of Pain concept by offering prizes to the top male and female in the Month of Pain. The key to winning is participation — the male and female who enter the most events will win automatically, regardless of their results, unless there is a tie. In the event of a tie, the title will go to the athlete with the lowest combined time. For the Terry Fox Run, where times are not kept, participants will get one hour for running the 10 km course and 1.5 hours for running the 5 km route. For races where there is a choice of distance, including the Loop the Lakes Run and the Cheakamus Challenge, athletes choosing the short course will get a penalty — three hours for people racing in the Cheakamus Lite, and 1.5 hours for people running the 8 km Loop the Lakes course instead of the 15 km route.
There are seven events in the Month of Pain — the West Side Wheel Up on Sept. 6, the Squamish Loop the Lakes trail run on Sept. 7, the Soo Valley Rumble on Sept. 13, the Terry Fox Run on Sept. 14, the Cheakamus Challenge Fall Classic bike race on Sept. 20, the Whistler Spirit Run on Sept. 27 and 28, the Rubble Creek Classic on Sept. 28.
Most of the events are fundraisers for non-profits and various charities, so you can rest assured that your entry fees are going to good causes.
West Side Wheel Up — Sept. 6
This is the 15 th anniversary for this mountain bike race, which was originally held to celebrate the end of summer and ride Whistler’s lesser-known west side trails. These days the event is also a fundraiser for the B.C. Disabled Ski Team.
The course is fun and challenging, starting in Function Junction before following Lower Sproatt, Beaver Lake, Upper and Lower Beaver Pass trails before tackling the full length of A River Runs Through It to Rainbow Park. Matt Ryan was the first rider to break an hour, but the addition of a new section of Lower Sproatt and the extension on A River Runs Through It will make it little longer.