Every long distance runner out there has a bucket list of races they'd like to do some day, like running marathons in New York or Boston, or the Bay to Breakers run in San Francisco. Trail runners might spend years building up to the Knee Knacker or the Hallow's Eve half marathon.
One run that should be on everyone's bucket list is the Rubble Creek Classic, which celebrated its 25 th anniversary in 2009 and turns 26 on Sunday, Sept. 26.
Weighing in at 24 km, this trail run starts at the Cheakamus Lake parking lot and then follows the Cheakamus Lake trail to the Helm Creek trail turnoff. From there it's a steep and technical climb for a few kilometres before the grade gets a little easier. Then the trail winds up into the alpine meadows behind Black Tusk before flattening out as it crosses the cinder flats. From there it's up and over another small pass into the Taylor Meadows area with incredible views in all directions, before descending over 10 km to the finish line on the Rubble Creek Trail.
The uphill portion consists of 2,915 feet of climbing, but the payoff is 4,015 feet of descending.
Other than some of the climbing, the trail is not that technical. The difficulty on the descent has more to do with the length of it and managing your speed around switchbacks. As a whole, the trail down is built to the highest B.C. Parks standards, and the grade never gets much steeper than 10 per cent.
Runners may encounter some snow and frost in the upper alpine, although the forecast calls for higher freezing levels through the weekend. It could be muddy, so good trail shoes are a must - and it's not a bad idea to bring a light toque and gloves to keep warm in the morning.
There are no water stations on the route so you'll also need to bring food and nutrition. For faster runners that could mean a bottle of water and a few gels, but if you expect to be out in the field for more than four hours you might want to consider wearing a hydration pack and bringing more food.
There is a mandatory sign-in starting at 7 a.m. in the parking lot at Cheakamus Lake. There's an early start at 7:15 a.m. for runners who expect to be four or more hours. The race starts at 8 a.m.
The post-race party and awards will take place at Creekbread in Whistler Creek at 12:30 p.m. with some pizza and deals on food and refreshments.
Online registration closed on Wednesday, but if there are any spots remaining (it's capped at 80 runners), you may be able to register at the start line.