Cariboo Marathon hinges on snow

Pending snow, a decision whether to hold this year's Cariboo Marathon will be made Jan. 25.

With the Cariboo Gold Rush Marathon cross-country ski event just a couple of weeks away, organizers were happy to see several centimetres of snow fall recently on the 99 Mile Ski Trails race venue.

They would be even happier to see more of the white stuff pile up before the Feb. 4 event because Linda Peterson, co-chief of race, says the present accumulation of about 30 centimetres just won’t cut it.

“We’re going to need a little bit more. It’s still too early to say if the marathon will go.

“We hope to have 200 skiers on the track, so there has to be some pretty good snow there.”

Peterson is feeling optimistic, though, since the recent turnaround in the weather, which brought it from spring-like to classic winter.

A decision will be made on Jan. 25 as to whether the marathon will be a go or not, but in the meantime, the organizing committee is running full tilt with planning.

The event features several course lengths and there is something for everyone, says Barrie Bolton, Peterson’s co-chair. Serious racers will be skiing the 50- or 30-kilometre course for a chance to win what organizers are calling “gold prizes.” Those prizes will be awarded to the top male and female and the top local male and female in each of the events.

There are also a 20-km and 10-km recreational event and a 20-km race for juniors. Jackrabbits can ski a gentle five-km or 10-km course with an accompanying adult.

Everyone receives a participation pin and later on in the evening, participants are invited to a dance at the 100 Mile Community Hall where awards will be presented and special prizes given out for the best Cariboo Gold Rush theme costume and for the best beard.

Race information and registration forms can be found on the Nordics website. Online registration is open until Feb. 2 and it can be found on the site under Zone 4. People can also register in person on Feb. 3 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Nordics lodge.