There will be 345 pairs of feet running around Cultus Lake this Saturday (October 13) as the 16th Annual Around the Lake Trail Race is held. More than 141 people are taking part in the 30km solo race, 94 teams of two competing in the relay event with legs of 17kms and 13 kms, and 16 in a 60km ultra race where participants do a double loop of the course, starting as early as 4:30 in the morning. All these participants have been training and running on trails for months to be ready.
Participants come mainly from around the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland, with visitors from further afield in B.C., Alberta and Washington State. The popular race, which circumnavigates Cultus Lake on a variety of trails and some roadways, has grown in popularity with the increased interest in trail, or ‘off-road’ running. The popularity of trail running was demonstrated when this year’s 30km solo and relay events sold out in just over a day, when registration opened in June.
Last year’s race featured a newly revised route; first finisher in the 30km solo race (and new course record) was Ricky Federau of Chilliwack who clocked in at 2 hours, 33 minutes, 6 seconds; first woman was another local, Lora Bartel, who finished in 2:55:59. First in the 60km was Jeff Trigg of Vancouver in 7:17:41.
The race is organized by a committee of volunteers, under the auspices of the Around the Lake Trail Race Society. Funds generated through registrations and local sponsors has allowed race organizers to hand out thousands of dollars over the last 15 years to local non-profit organizations. After last year’s race, funds were donated to: the Fraser Valley Mountain Biking Association, the Chilliwack Outdoor Club, the Vedder Mountain Motorcycle Club, the Chilliwack Park Society and the local St. John’s Ambulance brigade. The Trail race Society also awards an annual $1,000 bursary to a student in the Chilliwack School District.
“As a community-minded, entirely volunteer run group and event, we are dedicated to supporting organizations and people in our area that are involved in outdoor recreation and enjoyment” says Around the Lake Trail Race founder and organizer Clarence Wiens.
The event relies on 60 volunteers to assist in directing and supporting runners. More details are available on the race website: aroundthelake.ca