With a new course and a great cause, the fifth annual Headbanger Trail Challenge will hit the trails around Radium Hot Springs on September 22, and race organizer Ron Verboom is confident participants will love the breathtaking vistas and scenic landscapes the event always offers.
“It’s a gorgeous, gorgeous trail,” Verboom said. “It’s beautiful, it’s nice and flowing, it’s fast and it has awesome scenery.”
This year the main run will feature a new, slightly longer course stretching a distance of 11.8 km beginning at the Radium Hot Springs Community Hall at 10 a.m. After a brief journey through Radium, runners then take to the Old Coach Trail for about 5 km before they hit a single track trail known as Deja View, which, as its name suggests has a spectacular view of the wetlands around Radium. This new course features a loop format, ensuring that runners don’t have to trek across the same trails more than once, and is slightly longer than last year by about a kilometre.
Alongside the regular distance course, the shorter 3 km route will make a return after a successful debut last year. This route is much less challenging and more suited to families, as Verboom said the youngest participant was as young as four years old last year. The 3 km trail descends to the valley bottom of the Sinclair Creek Trails, and are mostly flat and along the waters edge, beginning at 10:15 a.m.
“I’ve been running on the trails here for many, many years — more than I’d like to admit,” Verboom joked. “…I’m always looking for a great experience for the participants.”
Registration is $55,00 for the 11.8 km course and $30 for the 3 km. The race package includes t-shirts, post race snacks and barbecue and access to the award ceremony and draw prizes. Anyone interested is urged to register online at www.headbangertrailchallenge.ca before September 20 to guarantee a shirt size. Race day registrations will also be accepted.
First started as a fundraiser for the Friends of Kootenay, last year saw the Radium Public Library become the new beneficiary, which will continue this year. Verboom, as a member of Radium Hot Springs town council and a representative on the library board, said that he’s always felt that the library is a great community asset. Verboom also praised the all volunteers that help each year, and said that without their efforts it’s unlikely the race could ever happen.
“The volunteers are a big part of this race,” Verboom said. “They’re all so helpful and they all have a smile on their face, cheering everybody on, and if I didn’t have the quality volunteers that I have there’s no way I could ever dream of doing this.”