By: Liz Brown, Chetwynd Echo
CHETWYND – When the last bit of snow melts, a select group of adventure addicts dust off their bikes, runners, and paddles to train for the Peace Christian School (PCS) Adventure Race.
On June 17, the PCS will host its sixth annual adventure race allowing teams or soloists approximately five to eight hours to complete the course. There are six categories: co-ed adult, men’s elite, women’s elite, co-ed high school, high school men’s elite, and high school women’s elite.
Racers have the option to sign up for either an A or B racecourse. While B is less intimidating, organizer (and PCS chaplain) Erroll Palipane insists its still a challenging course. If the A teams miss the cut off time, they automatically fall into the B category and are still able to complete the race.
The race legs, which can be completed either by each member or divided amongst a team include trail running for 12 kilometres, canoeing for eight kilometres and mountain biking for 30 kilometres (or 45 kilometres for the A course.)
Last year 27 teams participated, including kids, solos, A and B teams, and each team took an average of three hours longer than previous years to complete the course due to the excess flood mud. Palipane and fellow race organizer, PCS principal Darren Shankel, anticipate a higher number of participants this year and are predicting dry conditions from a mild winter.
Palipane and Shankel initially organized the race to promote and encourage physical activity that was fun and took advantage of the trail systems and Chetwynd’s vast outdoor playground. The two colleagues and friends moved from Kelowna, a heavily active biking and racing community. Upon moving to Chetwynd, they decided to help promote sport and health through creating an example at the Christian school. Palipane said he became inspired to organize an event after watching the Eco Challenge series.
Palipane and Shankel are excited to register for next year’s race assuming all the logistics will be ironed out and their consistent volunteers can take the reigns.
Over the next month they are looking for title sponsors and businesses to help grow the adventure community in Chetwynd.
Palipane’s tips for training are “get on your bike.” He says most people gain time on the bike because people are unprepared for the 1,000 feet of elevation gain occurring in the first 5 kilometres.
“The more you train, the more you enjoy the race,” he said.
There is no cut off age says Palipane. Last year, Mayor Merlin Nichols qualified as the oldest participant and he was a fun yet tough competitor said Palipane.
For more information, contact Peace Christian School at 250-788-2044.