Sports » Features

Record setting Valley Trail Run

More runners, more trotters in 14th annual event



With the sun shining and temperatures climbing into the mid-20’s, a record turnout of 123 competitors was at the start line of the 14 th annual Whistler Valley Trail Run on Sunday. The event raised over $3,000 for the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, where it will go towards youth initiatives.

Despite the heat, four racers managed to finish the 10 km race in under forty minutes, and four racers finished the 5 km race under 20 minutes.

According to the organizers it couldn’t have gone better.

"We were so blessed with the sun, but we also had great support from the community and the municipality," said Paul Vacirca, the head organizer for the event.

"What was really great this year is that we had free day care to allow parents to drop off their kids up to eight years old and do the race. We had about 15 or 16 kids, which means a lot of parents had an opportunity to run."

Next year organizers are looking into making a few changes. One change is to hold the race on Saturday instead of Sunday, giving weekender’s a chance to enjoy their Saturday night and have a day off to relax. Another change being considered is running the event on a different weekend that doesn’t conflict with as many races in the Lower Mainland.

Lastly, organizers are hoping to have a website with online registration for next year, starting as early as January.

"What we’re finding is that we’re getting a lot of people registering on the day of the race because they don’t live in Whistler or just found out about it. This gives people a little more time to plan ahead, to get in training, to get the family involved, that kind of thing," said Vacirca.

"We really believe with the Valley Trail system and the scenery and the volunteers we have one of the best races anywhere in the province, and we’re one of the only races with both a 10K and a 5K course.

The second annual Teddy Bear Trot for kids 10 and Under was also a huge success this year with 31 trotters running a short loop around the Village, often with the help of their parents. All of the participants wore bib number one, and all participants won a prize for taking part.

On the 10 km course it was two-way race for first place until the halfway point when Pemberton’s John Teitzel finally shook off Daniel McDuff. Teitzel’s final time was 36 minutes and 11 seconds.

"I don’t mind the heat," said Teitzel. "I prefer it a little bit cooler, but I’m used to it from running in Pemberton.