Race promises scenic beauty

Proceeds from Golden Ears Half Marathon go to Langley School Meals Program and Pitt Meadows Food Bank

A new race will link Pitt Meadows and Langley next month

It promises to be a beautiful, scenic course for the participants of the first Golden Ears Half Marathon.

The race, which features both a 10-km component and a half-marathon option, is scheduled for Sunday, March 13.

It will begin in Pitt Meadows, cross into Langley via the Golden Ears Bridge, and then head back across the Fraser River.

“It is a beautiful course,” said Kathie Schellenberg, the manager of the Walnut Grove Peninsula Runners and the race director.

“It is going to be neat to have the bridge in there and then some of the trails.

“We, on this side of the river, maybe didn’t realize what nice trails and facilities there are on the other side of the river.”

“From a runner’s perspective, it is neat to do a bridge run,” she added. “That is unique; it is not very common you are able to do a bridge run.”

All of the proceeds from the race, once the costs are paid, will be split between a pair of local charities: the Langley School Board Foundation’s School Meals Program and the Friends in Need Food Bank in Pitt Meadows.

“We all have kids and anything we can do to help the local kids is great,” Schellenberg said.

So far, 250 runners are registered. For the 10-km race, the cost is $30 (if registered by March 6) and $40 after that. For the half marathon, it is $50 before March 6 or $60 after that.

Registration will be accepted until March 12, the day before the race.

Anyone not a member of BC Athletics, will have to pay an additional $3.

Since it took a significant amount of time to get the proper permits and details sorted out, this year’s event is expected to be smaller with about 450 runners.

But next year, Schellenberg feels they could attract 1,000 participants. Having a full year to plan, they should also be able to attract more corporate sponsorship, cutting down on their expenses, which in turn would mean more money for the charities.

The half marathon will begin at 8:30 a.m. with the 10-km runners leaving a half hour later.

The race starts and finishes at the South Bonson Community Centre in Osprey Village, located at Bonson Avenue and Fraser Way.

The bridge will remain partially open during the race, with the runners on the sidewalk.

All finishers of the half marathon receive medals.

To register online, visit www.EventsOnline.ca or they can be dropped off at Peninsula Runners Langley at 1 20349 88 Ave.

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