Lake Country outdoor enthusiast Shannen Beckinsale says the timing is perfect to lay the groundwork for a made in Lake Country multi-sport club that can host events within Lake Country.
Beckinsale, 26, will host two separate events in Lake Country this year: A five-day road cycling training camp at the end of April and a half marathon in June.
Currently there are no large, organized races that take place in Lake Country, but with the beautiful setting, Pelmewash Parkway as well as the Okanagan rail trail corridor coming online in the future, it’s likely just a matter of time before someone moves in and wants to host a large event.
Beckinsale says she wants it to come from within the community as a way to get more kids involved, promote Lake Country and raise funds in the area.
“With the amount of young families and the growth in Lake Country I want to get kids involved and introduce them to outdoor sports,” said Beckinsale, a personal trainer and environmental consultant who moved to Lake Country three years ago. “With the rail trail coming there is going to be so much more growth. I want to open up the opportunities now, before a big name company comes in that isn’t local. I think it’s cooler and would mean so much more to the community to have it more grassroots.”
Beckinsale has received approval to host both of her events this year and says Lake Country is an ideal spot for both a cycling event as well as the half-marathon as well as other events in the future. The road cycling training camp will be for riders of all levels with group rides taking place each day from April 25 to 29. She’s promoting it across the country to try and attract cyclists who are preparing for the competitive racing season but also wants new riders to be able to be introduced to the sport.
“The idea behind the training camp is to promote Lake Country, specifically the kind of great cycling we have here with the roads and the hills and the scenery,” she said. “There are lots of different aspects to road cycling that make Lake Country attractive: We have moderate to steep hills and some quieter roadways that are safer for riding. I’m going to accommodate all levels of riders, from beginners to advanced.”
As far as the half-marathon goes, Beckinsale will incorporate Wood Lake into the route for what’s going to be known as Conquer the Lake. Runners will compete in the 21 km circuit half-marathon going around Wood Lake on Oyama Road and Pelmewash Parkway. There will also be shorter loops of six and 12 km for the event which will take place Sunday June 12.
Beckinsale says while she is pushing the events in this inaugural year, she has put together a committee of like-minded folks who held their first meeting on Sunday night with the thought that eventually a club will host both the road cycling training camp and the marathon as well as other events throughout the year.
“I’m hoping to get a multi-sport club started so these events will be taken over by the club and I will be a part of it,” she said. “The club would accommodate swimmers, runners and cyclists. I want to cater to elementary schools and get kids involved in biking skills camps and running events. I think it will go really nicely here in Lake Country. We have such a long summer, we have the lakes and the roads and the wineries. I think it’s just a good spot.”