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September 5, 2015 Big White hosts first annual Chairlift Challenge adventure race


Big White hosts first annual Chairlift Challenge adventure race

85 athletes spent Saturday morning battling the elevation and the elements in BC’s latest adventure race, the Chairlift Challenge at Big White Ski Resort.

Cold temperatures, limited visibility and occasionally heavy snowfall made for extremely tricky conditions during the adventure race, which traversed every type of terrain – from rough access roads to alpine meadows strewn with boulders.

Runners had three race lengths to choose from: a 2km youth race, a 6.5km race around Rhonda Lake, or a 9.5km loop around the mountain which traversed the top of every chairlift at Big White.  

The winner of the full 9.5km loop was Charles Lalande, a Big White firefighter and avid trail runner who managed to complete the race in just one hour, one minute and 43seconds. 

Charles, who has previously been on the Canadian national team for sprinting, said that the hardest part of the race was the uphill section to Gem Lake: “That was challenging, especially because visibility was so bad. But the downhill wasnice and easy after that!” 

First place in the women’s division of the full race was taken out by Sarah Mcleod, who completed the loop in one hour, seven minutes and 32 seconds. While Sarah skis at Big White during the winter, it was her first time exploring the resort in the summer. 

“I loved it. It was gnarly as it started to snow halfway up, but it was so fun,” Sarah said. “I do a lot of mountain running but never before at Big White – we’ll be back again.” 

Racers in the 6.5km race were equally competitive, with men’s winner Evan Hansen completing the challenge in just 51 minutes and 34 seconds. Kathy Dickson, winner of the women’s division, was right behind Evan with a finishing time of 52 minutes and 41 seconds.

The younger adventure races weren’t left out of the action on the day, with 15 kids taking part in the 2km youth race. Nicholas Mitchell won first place in theboys division with a time of 26 minutes and 10 seconds, and Justine Labantecame in first in the girls with a time of 28 minutes and 18 seconds.

As grueling as the event was, the family element was ever-present, with various local families signing up to take part in the race. Father and son team, Herb and Chris Harburn, took on the 6.5km race together and said that it was a fantastic challenge.

“I’ve been skiing at Big White for 25 years and this was the first time I’d seen Rhonda Lake,” said Herb. “We do other adventure races all over BC and this is on the same level. We’ll be back next year and bringing a few others!” 

All winners went home with prize packs from Big White Ski Resort and The Running Room. Every racer was also able to enjoy a barbeque in the Village Centre Mall after the race, with a free kids carnival and live music running throughout the afternoon.

Vice-President of Hospitality at Big White, Trevor Hanna, said: “Mother Nature played right into our hands and allowed us to host a great event. The Chairlift Challenge tradition has been born and is set to continue every year from now – we look forward to making the 2016 event even bigger and better!”



July 25, 2015 Saturday morning saw 60 riders take to the road to compete

July 14, 2015 Big White to host first annual L’Alpe de Grand Blanc road bike race

June 22nd, 2015 - Big White Ski Resort: The Perfect Summer Getaway

May 20th, 2015 - Big White Ski Resort Awarded 2015 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

March 31st, 2015 - Big White Freestyle Team place 6th, 7th & 8th in Freesking Competition

March 24th, 2015 - Big White hosts 18th Annual Neil Edgeworth Banked Slalom

March 18th, 2015 - Drone Filming Service comes to Big White

February 11th, 2015 - Former Big White racer in first place on NorAm tour

February 3rd, 2015 - Big White Ski Resort Awarded Among the Best by Ski Canada Magazine

January 12, 2015 - Big White Ski Resort to Host IPC Para-snowboard World Cup 2015

January 5, 2015 - Snow Day at Big White: Over 40cm in 24 hours

December 29, 2014 - Big White breaks all-time resort records

December 21, 2014 - Dress Like Santa or Mrs. Claus & Ride for FREE

November 26th, 2014 - Big White Opening Day Announced!

November 20th, 2014 - Six Ways to Save Money on your Big White Ski Trip

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