Nordic Centre ready for Adrenalin rush

Article content

The Canmore Nordic Centre is ready to host the 18th iteration of one of the Rocky Mountains’ most gruelling mountain biking races, the 24 Hours of Adrenalin.

“We are full on ready to have everyone out here in Canmore,” said CEO and founder of the event Stuart Dorland.

The weekend warrior event begins Saturday at noon and gives teams and solo riders the chance to churn out as many laps of the 16.5 kilometre track as they can in 24 hours.

That the event is the first large-scale sporting competition in Canmore since June’s devastating floods is not lost on the promoter.

“We feel a little fortunate in that we can shed light back onto the community because people come from all over Alberta and British Columbia,” said Dorland. “To have people coming back to the area I think is really important to the community. Not just for the 24 Hours of Adrenalin but to the town to see that the businesses are open.

“We hope that part of our race can show that it is OK to come out here. Not only is it safe but it’s ready for business. People here are opening their arms and welcoming you back into the community.”

Despite some areas of the Canmore Nordic Centre being hard-hit by June flooding, the course has seen only minor changes from previous years, and organizers say that the route will, for the most part, stay true to its historical form.

“There was groundwater percolating up creating deep mud holes on the trails and we installed (five) culverts and used gravel to fix them up,” noted Matt Hadley, CNC mountain bike specialist and crews trail manager. He ran a crew of 30 Friends of Kananaskis volunteers on Sunday to get most of the major fixes completed.

“There are still small projects everywhere … but the bike trails are in great shape.”

It is expected that almost all of the 1,650 registered competitors will be in Canmore on the weekend. The event also attracts upwards of 5,000 to 6,000 spectators.

“Our focus since Day 1 is the weekend warrior,” said Dorland, who downplays the idea that elite athletes have taken over the event. “We get those (elite) riders but we try not to focus on one group. We have solo people and people on 10 person teams. The focus is on fun and family. We just want it to be a weekend where you can come out and hang with the tribe.

“I think one of the reasons this event has been so successful over the years is it is a weekend away with friends and family. The idea of unplugging from the city — whatever size that is — is a beautiful thing we don’t get enough of this day and age.”

The event actually kicks off Friday morning with kit pickups, with the opening of the expo grounds and V-Lounge for the 300 volunteers it takes to put on the event at 2 p.m. The evening features an outdoor movie and social time.

Activities throughout the weekend include movies on the event-sized monitors, free yoga classes for everyone on Saturday and Sunday mornings, kids races, a youth event for 13-17 year olds and the annual midnight corn roast that marks the midpoint of the race.

The race begins Saturday with a Le Mans start at noon with competitors racing through midday Sunday. A new timing system will be unveiled this year allowing participants and spectators more connectivity to what is happening on the bike paths.

For those wishing to attend the event, a parking and shuttle program will be put in place as vehicle access to the Canmore Nordic Centre will be restricted.

Shuttle buses will depart from the lower Main Street parking lot every hour, noon to 10 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. A second bus will run on Saturday every half-hour.

“There are a lot of things going on this weekend, it will be a lot of fun,” said Dorland.




Article content

News Near Bow Valley

This Week in Flyers