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Valley Trail Run turns 20

May 29 run promises to the popular



With 5 km and 10 km options and a selection of gravel trails, the 20th annual Whistler Valley Trail run on Sunday, May 29 is the perfect tune-up race for locals signed up for the North Face Whistler Half Marathon on June 4, the Comfortably Numb Trail Run on June 26, or both.

Once again the race is based out of Spruce Grove Park, with a gravel racecourse that winds into Lost Lake Park. It's on the rolling side with a few good hills - the steepest of them near the start - but the good news is that it starts and finishes in the same place and that every inch of uphill will be compensated with an inch of downhill.

Both courses follow Lower Panorama and up Molly Hogan, with the 5 km course following Lost Lake Loop and Old Mill Road back to Lower Panorama and the start/finish line. The 10 km course continues along Lost Lake Loop in the opposite direction, then Vimy Ridge and Tin Pants back to Lower Panorama.

There are still some patches of snow in the park, but the route is mostly clear.

This is the first year that Wanda Chalk, who opened the Run With It Store at Nesters recently, has organized the run after being approached by the Community Foundation of Whistler.

"Although it's a little different than other events I've organized, I know what to expect. And all the vollies from before stuck with me, which is awesome," she said.

You can register from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Run With It Store, or from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. at Spruce Grove. The start is at 9 a.m.

There will also be a free Teddy Bear Trot for kids 10 and under, starting at 10:15 a.m., sponsored by the Thornhill Real Estate Group. The price is $25 per person or $45 for a family. All proceeds will go towards the Youth Community Foundation of Whistler.

Up to 180 people take part each year. Awards take place at the Dubh Linn Gate at noon.