Those looking to enjoy some scenery at Gavin Lake, or perhaps seeking to test their resolve, should take note of the upcoming Big Brothers Big Sisters of Williams Lake’s Third Annual Backwoods Try-athlon.
Scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 11, BBBSWL invites everyone to ‘exit the beaten path’ at the Gavin Lake Forest Education Centre for a five-kilometre paddle, an 11-kilometre bike ride and a seven-kilometre run.
The Backwoods Try-athlon gets underway at 11 a.m. for participants (10 a.m. sign in), with a barbecue running from noon to 4 p.m., plus entertainment for family and friends looking to enjoy a day at the lake while cheering on ‘try’-athletes.
“We’re really excited,” said BBBSWL executive director Angela Kadar, noting as the successor to the Tour de Cariboo — the annual road bike ride fundraiser from Williams Lake to Gavin Lake — the Backwoods Try-Athlon has been well received and supported by the community in its short, two-year tenure prior to 2021 and, even, last year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Last year we actually had to turn people away who wanted to participate due to COVID, so this year we’re going to try to make it bigger than ever,” Kadar said.
The cost is $50 to register, and participants must raise at least $75 in pledges, which all goes towards supporting BBBSWL’s in-school and community-based mentoring programs in Williams Lake and 100 Mile House.
“It really is a lot of fun,” Kadar said of the event’s format, noting there is no pressure and participants can choose to take part in either all three, two or one leg of the event, depending on their own comfort level.
“Part of the reason to change to this (from the Tour de Cariboo) was because it’s a lot more family friendly,” she said. “That event was 75 kilometres. Now we’re having 11 year olds come in — and they can do this with their moms, dads and brothers and sisters.”
Games at and near the hall will also be available for children at the centre, Kadar said, and noted all participants pass through the staging area at the end of each of the three legs, adding to the excitement.
“We get to cheer them all on,” she said. “They’ll drop their bike off, pickup their kayak, and the finish line is there, so it’s really cool to see.”
Kadar does ask participants bring their own mode of water transportation for the kayaking portion of the event (any mode of water transportation is welcome whether it be kayak, paddleboard or canoe), and their own bike, however, kayak and canoe rental options are available by calling the Gavin Lake Forest Education Centre.
To register, either as an individual or as a team of up to six, visit www.bbswlake.com.