The group behind the Puddle Jumper Classic trail race are hoping to use Sechelt’s Kinnikinnick Park for a multi-day “backyard ultra” race they’re calling On the Edge of Insanity.
Mike Meggiato of Team Wolverine Athletics told Sechelt council Nov. 20 that the events Team Wolverine has organized over the past three years have attracted more than a thousand runners, including locals and visitors from across Canada, the U.S. and even Europe.
Meggiato said they’d like to expand into staging backyard ultras, which are gaining popularity worldwide, and combine endurance with strategy by having runners complete “loops” of a set course until there’s just one competitor left.
Team Wolverine wants to use Kinnikinnick Park because the trail system is well suited to the event and the race could be run without interfering with the public’s use of the park.
The race would also need a start/finish area, which would be where racers could rest up between loops. Meggiato said the playing field would be the ideal spot for that as well as a camping area for racers’ support teams during the event, which could run over a couple of days. The proposal also calls for a food service area that could offer beer sales.
Team Wolverine is hoping to stage the event in July and Meggiato said they could expect about 50 racers in the first year.
“There isn’t [a backyard ultra] in B.C. at the moment and if we’re able to do this on the Coast next year, it would be a good way of putting the Coast on the map,” Meggiato said, adding that economic benefits could include accommodation bookings for the racers and their support teams before and after the event.
Council didn’t make any decisions, but Mayor Darnelda Siegers said they’d refer the idea to staff. “We have other users of those fields and we don’t actually have a policy for this, so we need to refer this over to staff to look at the implications.”