SUMMERLAND REVIEW FILE PHOTO                                AN UPHILL GRIND                                An estimated 400 participants will take part in the fifth annual Giants Head Grind on May 19. The event raises money for colorectal cancer research and improvements to the trails in Giant’s Head Park in Summerland.

SUMMERLAND REVIEW FILE PHOTO AN UPHILL GRIND An estimated 400 participants will take part in the fifth annual Giants Head Grind on May 19. The event raises money for colorectal cancer research and improvements to the trails in Giant’s Head Park in Summerland.

Runners, cyclists prepare for Giants Head Grind

Money raised to benefit colon cancer research and Summerland park improvements

An estimated 400 runners and cyclists will compete in a quest to find higher ground at the fifth annual Giants Head Grind on May 19.

The race is a gruelling climb, beginning at Peach Orchard Beach and ending at the top of Giant’s Head Mountain.

Ellen Walker-Matthews, organizer of the race, said the climb, while achievable, is difficult.

“Most everybody can do it,” she said, “but it’s not as easy as it looks.”

For runners, the course has an elevation gain of 500 metres over 5.6 kilometres. For cyclists, the course follows a 6.2-kilometre paved route with an elevation gain of 450 metres.

The race is in memory of Walker-Matthews’s son Chris Walker, who died from colon cancer in 2013.

Funds raised from the event go to colorectal cancer research and to improving the trail system in Giant’s Head Park.

Participants from around the province, Alberta, Ontario and Oregon are expected to participate this year.

Registration for the grind can be done online at giantsheadgrind.ca.