Multi-sport aficionados on Vancouver Island and beyond rejoice; after a two-year COVID-forced hiatus, Canada’s oldest multi-sport adventure relay race is returning for 2022.
Registration for the Royal LePage Snow to Surf is open, and organizers are already receiving entries for the 2022 action at the Mount Washington Alpine Resort. The iconic event is scheduled for May 1, 2022. Check out the new website at www.snowtosurf.com
The race opens with the alpine skiers slogging uphill to their stashed skis near the summit of Mount Washington; this trudge to the top avoids the chaos of a mass start when the gun sounds. Upon arriving at the bottom they hand off to a nordic skier, and their time is flashed to the finish area via computer chip technology.
The nordic racer streaks along cross-country trails - prepared by Mt. Washington staff to standards set when the resort was a training base for the 2010 Winter Olympics - and hands off to the first of two runners.
The running legs follow Strathcona Parkway and a downhill trail, bringing the second runner to a transition with the mountain biker. This leg rides past a pipeline on the Puntledge River and through the woods to the Courtenay Fish and Game launch site and a fleet of waiting kayaks.
Paddlers then cross Comox Lake to the Cumberland campground, shadowed by the Comox Valley Search and Rescue - one of the many volunteer groups who have supported the relay through its 38 years and have contributed to a safety record beyond praise.
Road cyclists take over from the kayakers and speed through historic Cumberland towards the ocean. This leg of the race (not unlike the others), is no stranger to Olympians and other champions, who register to enjoy the mellow racing atmosphere and to encourage participation in local events. The recreational athletes love this opportunity to race with the pros!
The cyclist is met at the transition by one of the canoe members, who carries the chip to the Courtenay Marina launch for the final leg. Out of the river mouth, these intrepid paddlers splash their way across the bay to the Comox Marina, the Finish Bell, and the celebration and awards ceremony at Marina Park.
Visit snowtosurf.com/photos for some extensive photo galleries of past years.
From first-timers, to race veterans, the Royal LePage Snow to Surf is fun for athletes of any ability.
To enter or for more information, visit snowtosurf.com