Participants of the 2018 Okanagan Rail Trail Run started at Kekuli Bay near Vernon. This year, the run will go between Oyama and Kalamalka Lake. (Contributed)

Participants of the 2018 Okanagan Rail Trail Run started at Kekuli Bay near Vernon. This year, the run will go between Oyama and Kalamalka Lake. (Contributed)

Okanagan Rail Trail Run to be bigger and better with new location

The run is slated to happen on May. 9, 2020

It might be the dead of winter, but the upcoming Okanagan Rail Trail Run in May has already sold more than half its tickets to those who plan to participate.

According to event organizers, more than 6o per cent of the tickets have been sold for the run, which will be held May 9.

This year, participants will run from Oyama to Kalamalka Lake to help raise money to improve the trail.

Holly Flinkman, the race director, said she organized the run to create an aesthetically beautiful event on the rail trail.

Last year, the run was held at Kekuli Bay in Vernon and included 120 runners. That run sold out in just two days. This time around, the new location starting from the Oyama boat launch, will allow for a maximum of 500 runners.

“We really want this to be a regional run that captures the audience from Vernon all the way to Kelowna,” said Flinkman.

“The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is that 80 per cent of this run is overlooking two different lakes, Wood Lake and Kalamalka Lake. It’s just stunning. It’s a world-class location.”

The run’s half-marathon distance will follow a course along the rail trail past Wood Lake and Kalamalka Lake. Runners will start by heading west along the northern side of Wood Lake before crossing Oyama Road and then heading north along Kalamalka Lake. Runners will then return from just south of Kekuli Bay along the same route.

There will also be five-kilometre and 10-kilometre distances for runner who do not want to go as far.

Participants can walk or run in the five-km distance but must run in the half-marathon distance. Organizers have hired a professional timer for the half-marathon, so runners can use the event for points towards future marathons,” said Flinkman.

Awards will be given to the top three overall male and female finishers in the half marathon, the 10-km and five-km runs. A $500 prize will be awarded to both the top male and female in each race.

The half marathon will start at 7:30 a.m., the 10 km at 7:45 and the five km at 8 a.m.

The deadline for the early bird entry fee of $45 was Jan. 14. Depending on when entry fees are paid, between now and race day, they will range from $55 to $80 for the half-marathon, $45 to $70 for the 10-km run and from $40 to $60 for the five-km run.

Tickets can be purchased, and more information found, at the events website Okanaganrailtrailrun.com.