Since its creation back in 2002 when eleven teams competed, the Skeena River Relay has steadily grown and maintained its popularity throughout the years. This year, for the 11th annual relay being held on Saturday, June 2, there will be over thirty teams racing on Highway 16, running along the beautiful Skeena River.
“The Skeena River Relay is so popular because the scenery along the river is so unique. It’s much prettier than running in town,” said Carrie Coley, who along with Bonnie Repole are directing this year’s relay, attributing another reason for the steady popularity of the event to the fact that runners of all skill levels can partake in the race.
As per usual, the relay will begin in front of the Lester Centre of the Arts at 7 a.m. on June 9, with teams traveling towards the Kitsumkalum Hall in Terrace. The races course will total 140 kilometers, with teams having to run ten stages all together, with varied lengths ranging from 10 to 21 kilometers. Teams will have a twelve-hour time limit to complete the course.
Altogether there are thirty-two teams competing this year, with groups coming from all over the region and province, coming from as far away as Vancouver, Fraser Lake, Fort McMurray, Houston and Hazelton.
At 4 p.m. there will be a number of children’s activities starting at the Kitsumkalum Hall, including a bouncy castle, to help preoccupy any kids of racers or volunteers. There will also be draws and raffles starting at the same time and location.
After the relay is complete, there will be an awards gathering also being held at the Kitsumkalum Hall. The ceremony will be starting at 6:30 p.m. with dinner at 7. Dinner is included in race fee, but any non-participates can purchase tickets to attend.
Although it is too late for teams to register at this time, there are a few teams that are currently in need of a few more runners. Anyone who would like to join another team can contact Coley on her cell at 250-600-1438.
Additionally, as the relay covers such a large distance it is very dependent on volunteers to help everything go accordingly. The Skeena River Relay is still in need of volunteers to help manage the course, along with various other activities. Anyone interested in sparing their time to support this popular event is encouraged to contact Sandy Jones at 250-624-5031.
The Skeena River Relay is sanctioned by B.C. Athletics.