Registration for the Whistler Half Marathon went live on Jan. 1, with strong interest for the first running of this event on June 4.
"We have 98 people registered now (Monday), so we'll probably 100 today," said race director Dave Clark.
"The furthest away is New Jersey, which is great. We've got someone from Minnesota, quite a bit of volume from Washington State and quite a bit from the Lower Mainland."
Not bad considering that the race hasn't been promoted widely at this point, outside of the Facebook page and Twitter updates. There will be a marketing campaign in February for the Lower Mainland, with some assistance from the Vancouver Sun.
"They're a partner of ours, and our race is part of their race series," Clark explained. "We're going to start advertising through them, and we're going to have a booth at the Vancouver Outdoor Adventure Show in March. We're also working on brochures that will be distributed from Pemberton to Portland, so to speak."
The course itself is still a mystery as organizers work to get permits and approval for the route, but so far they have revealed that:
• The start and finish will be in or close to Whistler Village.
• Elevation gain will be roughly 250 metres from start to finish, and the second half of the course will be flatter than the first half.
• There are five hills, none longer than one kilometre with an average four- or five-cent grade, and a maximum grade of 10 per cent.
• The course will be a mix of municipal road and paved Valley Trail.
• There will be several water and aid stations along the route, plus washrooms.
"We need a transportation engineer to sign off on it, and between the Resort Municipality of Whistler and Ministry of Transportation there are no real red flags - it's just a matter of going through the process," said Clark, adding that they hired the same company that developed the traffic management plan for the RBC GranFondo and the 2010 Olympics to prepare the transportation plan. The final route should be available sometime in February.
The race website is www.whistlerhalfmarathon.com, and you can also find information on the run's Facebook page.
Early bird rates will be in effect until Mar. 31, 2010 at $75 per person, including all taxes and fees. The price goes up to $85 for the month of April, then to $95 from May 1 to the deadline of June 2.
A portion of the proceeds from the event will go towards the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada.