Sports

Sponsor steps forward and saves annual Ski2Sea race

Organizers of the annual Ski2Sea race in Kelowna have secured a new title sponsor as Remax has stepped forward to help save the long standing Kelowna event. - Contributed
Organizers of the annual Ski2Sea race in Kelowna have secured a new title sponsor as Remax has stepped forward to help save the long standing Kelowna event.
— image credit: Contributed

A longstanding Kelowna race has been saved with a new sponsor stepping forward for the next five years to support the annual Ski2Sea race from Big White to Okanagan Lake.

After a 32 year run in Kelowna, the Ski2Sea race appeared to be running on fumes with no title sponsor and the possibility it would not take place this year. But after a public plea for help, Ski2Sea announced on Wednesday that Remax Kelowna has signed on for five years as the race's new title sponsor. The long-standing race from Big White to City Park in Kelowna is now known as the Remax Ski2Sea and it will take place April 14.

"With a platinum sponsor secured for a minimum of the next five years, participants and organizers can feel secure knowing the race will go on,"  said Remax Ski2Sea president, Sue Keast.

The Ski2Sea is one of only two other similar races in the Pacific Northwest. The 95 kilometre, six stage event sees teams of up to seven people and soloists compete in alpine skiing, nordic skiing, mountain biking, road cycling, running, and canoeing/kayaking.

"The great thing about the Ski2Sea is you can have seven absolute hard core athletes and yet you are competing with mostly weekend warriors and recreationalists and no one is having an adverse effect on anyone else," said Kelly Blair, a long time organizer. "It's you and your teammates and the clock and you are challenging yourself."

Big White has provided more than just a spectacular starting point, committing staff and marketing resources to the race through its long term partnership with Ski2Sea, something that has also allowed the race to continue.

"We couldn't afford to pay if we wanted to rent the lift and the resort for two hours so Big White has always been amazing for us," said Blair. The support of the community is great. Remax stepped up and now we can continue to put on a good race and make donations back into the community."

Registration is now open for the Remax Ski2Sea through its website www.ski2sea.ca.

The 33rd annual race is set to take place on Sunday, April 14.

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