Are you a long-distance runner looking for a challenge? If so, organizers of Texada’s first marathon invite you to join them on the island Aug. 28.
Called “Run the Rock,” the full (42.2k) marathon is a loop course starting at Shelter Point Park or half (21.1k) which starts in Van Anda. It offers natural surroundings, spectacular scenery and terrain so hilly that race director Rob McWilliam says “it’s worth bragging rights to do.” Texada Island is accessed by ferry from Westview Terminal in Powell River.
Runners have already registered for the race from the Yukon, Powell River, the Sunshine Coast, Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island. For a $30 registration fee, runners receive a Run the Rock T-shirt, insurance, food and water along the course, other goodies and chances to win prizes. Net proceeds will go to the Texada Food Bank and Texada Arts, Culture and Tourism Society (TACT), the sponsoring organization.
Runners can register online at avidfitness.ca, or by phoning McWilliam at 604-486-0377. Runners must be 16 years of age or older to do the full marathon. Information is available on the Avid Fitness website, or by calling McWilliam. Volunteers are still needed.
TACT president Bob Timms says the race will challenge “the best of the best,” and will showcase what the island has to offer the running community.
McWilliam says he hopes the race will become an annual event with additions of a relay or 5K and 10K distances in the future to attract more runners.
“Texadans are worried about the local economic downturn and rising ferry fares and there’s no silver bullet to fix these things,” he said. “Events like Run the Rock challenge people’s attitudes toward our island as we look for ways to bolster our sagging economy.”
In addition to TACT, support has come from AVID Fitness in Powell River, Texada Quarrying Ltd./Lafarge, the RCMP, Studio on Dogwood, Impact Magazine, Texada Island Inn, First Credit Union and the Coastal Water Suppliers Association.
The full marathon starts at 8:30 a.m. at Shelter Point Park, where camping is available. The half marathon starts at 10 a.m. at Van Anda Elementary School. The course is open for six hours only, so walkers will not be permitted along the full marathon course.
Shuttle service is available from the ferry dock in Blubber Bay to the race starting points, if the request is made at the time of registration.