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Runners thrown new challenge for tough race on Texada Island

Organizers claim Run the Rock is Canada’s toughest road marathon
UPPING ANTE: Organizers of this year's Run the Rock marathon on Texada Island have added a new twist to the already tough running challenge on Sunday, August 18. Anyone who can complete the marathon under the three-hour mark receives a free lifetime entry to future Run the Rock events.

For the past 10 years, runners from qathet and beyond have challenged themselves by participating in the Run the Rock marathon on Texada Island; organizers claim it to be Canada's toughest road race.

The 42-kilometre course located on the largest of the Gulf Islands is a little more challenging than your average race. One third of the course is uphill and while not a trail run, it's not an average city marathon either, warned previous race director Lucia Capretti while speaking with the Peak last year.

This year, new race director Linda Krepinsky and event organizers are throwing out a bid to 2024 competitors. 

"Anyone who can complete the marathon in under three hours earns a free lifetime entry to future Run the Rock events," stated Krepinsky, in a media release. “We know it can be done, so we’re throwing down the challenge to see who’s up to it.”

In the 10 years the event has run, only one competitor has finished the course in under three hours, and only 10 entrants have broken the three-and-a-half hour mark, according to the release. The historical average time for the course is just over four hours.

Run the Rock earned its toughest road marathon slogan when Dr. Janet Green of Courtenay, BC, made the pronouncement after completing the race.

"Dr. Green has completed almost 500 marathons, so she knows what she's talking about," stated Krepinsky.

Green belongs to a group called the Seven Continents Club, having completed marathons on all seven continents.

The loop course begins at Shelter Point Campground and follows High Road to the community of Van Anda before crossing the island back to Shelter Point. Almost 60 per cent of the course is on gravel or dirt roads.

Krepinsky pointed out that the race is not just a suffer fest. Runners will also be treated to mature forests and have stunning ocean views.

For those wanting a more moderate challenge, Run the Rock also offers a half marathon and eight-kilometre distances.

“The eight-kilometre is a very fast course,” stated Krepinsky, “and the half starts with a steady climb over the first seven-kilometres, but has a long descent to the finish line from there.”

Details and registration are available at There is no morning registration for the marathon or half distances.

For more information, contact Krepinsky at [email protected] or phone 416.554.9663.

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