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Race directors hoping for happy trails

BarnBurner Triple set for inaugural run in June



A new race in Pemberton is getting set to torch some trails around the community.

The inaugural BarnBurner Triple Trail Running Race is set for June 20. Co-race director Christine Cogger came up with the idea with running partner Marc Cousineau a while ago, but only recently had the gumption to follow up on it.

"We've always been batting the idea around of doing something like that in town here," she said. "About a month ago, we went for a long trail run together and thought, 'Wouldn't it be great if we actually went through with it?' Literally when we came inside from our run, we sat down, had breakfast, grabbed a piece of green construction paper and mapped out the course."

The course will have a home base of the Pemberton Community Barn and features three loops. All runners must run the first, which is approximately nine kilometres, and from there, can add on the five-kilometre second loop and 10-kilometre third loop depending on their respective abilities. Relay options are also offered.

Cogger hoped to dispel some concerns about trail running, and she is thrilled for the opportunity to showcase Pemberton's trails, which are known in particular for great mountain biking.

"A lot of people are intimidated by running trails," she said. "I do a lot of road running also, and people tend to get really focused on their speed, distance and you're watching the yellow line on the road. It's not always really exciting.

"You can turn all that off when you go trail running. You can focus on what's around you. You're focusing on where you're going. You're watching your feet and it seems like time goes by a lot quicker when you're out there in the forest."

Registration opens Sunday, March 1 at Cogger hopes to bring in a solid number of people interested in participating while keeping the course from inflicting claustrophobia.

"For a first-year race, we probably wouldn't be able to handle much more than 150 to 200 runners on the course," she said. "We want to make it a safe and a really fun experience for everyone. We don't want it to feel crowded with people fighting for space.

"But we feel the way that we've mapped out the course, it's going to spread out pretty quickly and give everybody a pretty cool experience that way."

Cogger said volunteers are needed to marshal the course, look after the first aid station and help with set-up and teardown. She didn't have an exact estimate as to how many people will be needed, but hopes to see a good contingent come out.

"We really want to make it a community-friendly and community-based event," she said. "We want to involve as many people in the community as possible."

Cogger added she and Cousineau as rookie organizers are open to suggestions to make the race better.

The event's Facebook page received over 100 likes within a week of its launch and has been listed on trail running websites in Canada and the Pacific Northwest of the United States.