On Sunday, August 25, Texada Island will host the ninth annual Run the Rock marathon, half marathon and eight-kilometre races. The event has gained a reputation as one of the most challenging marathon courses in the country, attracting athletes from around the world for this reason, according to race director Rob McWilliam.
“You definitely have bragging rights,” he said of the full 42-kilometre trek. The half marathon and eight-kilometre race options are suitable for runners of different fitness levels, he added.
McWilliam said he hopes more racers from Powell River will take part this year.
“We’re hoping to get the word out there encouraging people to come on over and join us for a run on the island,” he said. “It’s beautiful over here.”
To help runners from Powell River who want to take part in the half marathon, race organizers have arranged for a van to pick people up at the Blubber Bay ferry terminal and transport them to the starting line, returning them to the ferry when the race is over.
“We make it as easy as possible for Powell River residents to come over and check out Texada,” added McWilliam. “We know there are lots of people in Powell River who have never been here. It’s a place worth exploring.”
Racers contemplating the eight-kilometre route don’t have to decide until the day of the event.
“We know there are lots of people who wake up in the morning, look outside and if it looks like a half decent day they may decide they want to run, so we accommodate that,” said McWilliam. “The half marathon and full marathon, you need to be a little more committed.”
Racers will have the opportunity to meet people from all over.
“We have people coming from Alberta, Quebec, the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and even some international runners,” said McWilliam. “We have one woman who’s coming from Bermuda.”
The last few years, air quality has been a concern due to wildfires burning around the province. This year the weather looks promising.
“We’re hoping we’ll get a lot of last-minute registrations when people see what the weather is like and the amount of rain we’ve had,” he added.
For more information, go to runtexada.ca.