For the first time in its seven year history, Kelowna’s Scorched Sole Ultra race will be held at Knox Mountain Park.
The event—which features 25, 50 or 80 kilometre trail runs as well as a kids’ race—will utilize almost every part of Knox mountain, including both lookouts, Kathleen Lake and Paul’s Tomb trail as when it takes place June 23.
Race director Dan Crockett says having the race come into Kelowna and use the popular Knox Mountain trails is going to give the event a unique feel.
“The mandate of our race is to have a different course every year,” he said. “This is the seventh year and this is our seventh different course. I think (Knox Mountain) is a great place to have the race. It’s right in town, there are some great views. It has a real combination of everything.”
Beginning at the base of Knox Mountain, this year’s course will wind its way up to the top of Knox and down the back towards Paul’s Tomb and include a trip around Kathleen Lake before coming back down to the finish line. Depending on the race length, competitors will do up to five loops of the challenging course.
“It’s different than our other courses,” said Crockett. “It’s real scenic. There is 600 metres of elevation in every loop so it’s going to be a challenge. The fun part is there is going to be a lot more spectators than we normally have.”
In past year’s the Scorched Sole has been held out of town, using places like Okanagan Mountain Park or Myra Bellevue, among other locations. Crockett says bringing the race inside the Kelowna city limits may attract more locals to the event.
“Most of our runners are typically from out of town,” he said. “I’m expecting our numbers might be down a bit because there is so much going on. Most real hard core ultra runners want to be out in the wilderness so we’re hoping to generate more Kelowna runners.”
As in past years all the proceeds from the Scorched Sole will go to a variety of Kelowna-based charities including Kelowna Mental Health, Canadian Tire Jumpstart, YMCA Strong Kids and the Kelowna Community Resources Centre. A typical year will see the volunteer-run event raising between $3,000 and $5,000 for charity.
There are a few other unique pieces to the Scorched Sole as the event offers free registration to any other race director that wants to participate and also doesn’t penalize those that don’t complete the race with a Did Not Finish (DNF) declaration.
“If you are out there, whatever you do you get credit for time and distance,” said Crockett. “We feel like making it to the starting line and being out there gives you the right to brag about it. I hate to see DNF’s. If you are out there making an attempt we think you should get credit for it.”
For more information on the Scorched Sole and to register go to www.scorchedsole.com.