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Race founder returning for 10th anniversary Westside Wheelup


The 10 th anniversary of the Westside Wheelup will have special guest this year: race founder Les Clare.

The Wheelup goes Sept. 6 this year along the traditional route. Starting at Millar Creek Road in Function Junction riders make their way up to the Beaver Pond on Sproatt then follow Whip Me, Snip Me to Rebob before tackling River Runs Through It and finishing at Rainbow Park. There will be food and refreshments for riders at the finish.

All proceeds from the $20 race entry fee go to the B.C. Disabled Ski Team. Whistler’s Phil Chew, who won numerous medals in international disabled ski races, is starting his 11 th year as head coach of the B.C. Disabled Ski Team. Chew also took over organization of the Westside Wheelup after Clare moved away from Whistler.

Clare has since become disabled himself, sustaining a back injury in a fall while working on a house. Now living on Vancouver Island, Clare will be back in Whistler to see the 10 th anniversary edition of the race he founded.

The B.C. Disabled Ski Team, under Chew’s guidance, has become the most successful development program for the national disabled ski team, placing more skiers on the national team than any other province. Currently five of the 11 national team members are from B.C., including Brad Leanna who was recently promoted to the A team.

"He made a commitment to the program and moved to Whistler to live here full time," Chew said. "He’s evidence the program is working."

B.C. disabled skiers also earned four of the 10 medals Canadians collected at the Salt Lake City Paralympics in 2002.

Chew is looking for volunteers to help with course marshalling for the Westside Wheelup. Anyone interested can call him at 604-932-2110.

Registration for the race takes place between 10:30 a.m. and noon on Sept. 6, at Millar Creek Road in Function Junction. The race will get underway just after noon.

The Wheelup is offering more than $4,000 in prizes this year thanks to donations by local companies, including a Whistler-Blackcomb season’s pass. The pass will be given away as a raffle prize. All race entries include a raffle ticket. Additional raffle tickets are available to anyone for $5 each.

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