The eighth annual Round the Mountain Race is taking place on Sunday, June 24, 2018. The annual race features hiking, running, and mountain biking challenges, plus live music, food vendors, a beer garden, and much more.
Festival Director Jodi Hawley says that the event will run very similarly to how it has in the past, with five different races, a kid’s zone, and the popular festival component.
“We will have live bands, food vendors, the kids zone, and a silent auction,” explained Hawley. “Anyone is welcome to come and be a part of the festival, even if you’re not participating in the races.”
The event is hosted by the Kimberley Orienteering Club, the Kimberley Trails Society, and the Kootenay Freewheelers’ Cycling Club. The race finishes at the Kimberley Nordic Centre, where the festival portion of the event will be taking place.
Although the three groups have been organizing the event for eight years, this year the Kimberley Trails Society is taking on a bigger role, says Hawley, fundraising for the trail network and offering trail memberships for all racers.
Hawley’s advice for those new to the race?
“Understand that it’s more than just a race,” she said. “There is a big community and family aspect to the event, along with the fact that it’s a festival environment.”
She added that there will be first aid stations and refreshment centres, however she encourages racers both new and seasoned to bring water and check the forecast, especially those who are participating in the 20km races.
“Pay attention to the forecast for the race,” said Hawley. “The weather this time of year can be variable – it could be really hot or quite cool, so it’s important to dress appropriately and bring lots of refreshments.”
For 20k participants, both runners and mountain bikers, Hawley says, there is a decent climb of five to six kilometres at the very beginning of the run.
“I would say that everyone in the 20k races should mentally prepare themselves for that initial climb, the hardest part is the very beginning of the race,” explained Hawley. “The 10k race, however, doesn’t have that big climb at the beginning, it doesn’t have as difficult of a start.
“Wether you’re running or riding, it’s also important to know that the entire race is a single lane, unpaved trail. Ensure you’ve got the proper footwear, and concentrate on where you are going.”
Part of the race involves orienteering; reading a trail map. Hawley says this is an important factor in the races, and members of the Kimberley Orienteering Club will be there to help out.
All of the proceeds from the event go directly back into the community and the trails and Hawley says that the event wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of volunteers. They are still looking for volunteers in several areas including start and finish lines, as well as first aid stations. If you wish to volunteer, visit the website (www.roundthemountain.ca) and fill out the volunteer form.
Hawley cautions that parking is limited at the Nordic Centre, so participants and spectators are encouraged to park at the KAR parking lot, and take the free shuttle.
Registration closes on Monday, June 3, 2018 at midnight, and spots are still available.