‘Tis the season for Lower Mainland racing

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      Vancouver might be the only metropolis in Canada where you can paddleboard, snowshoe, do some trail running, and play golf in a 24-hour period. That’s one reason the city has become home to so many amateur athletic competitions, some of which combine multiple sports.

      The Dirty Duo, which takes place Saturday (March 9) in the Seymour Demonstration Forest, is one example. Solo competitors start with a tough 25-kilometre run and follow that up with a 30-kilometre mountain-bike ride. Ultra runners can double their pleasure by doing two 25-kilometre loops; another option is forming a team, with one person running and the other cycling. To get on the waiting list to compete, email info@dirtyduo.com.

      There are plenty of standup paddleboarding races around the province, including regular Tuesday night competitions at Deep Cove. “A lot of people are intimidated by the word race, but it’s a very welcoming sort of environment,” Deep Cove Canoe & Kayak co-owner and general manager Bob Putnam told the Straight by phone. “It’s pretty fun once you get going. Some of the weakest paddlers in our Tuesday night race have been coming for the longest.”

      Deep Cove’s major standup-paddleboarding races, Tour de Indian Arm and Board the Fjord, take place May 12 and September 15, respectively. Information about standup-paddleboarding races taking place in 2013 is at the Sup Racer webiste to see the calendar. As well, the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival takes over False Creek from June 21 to 23. More information is at the Rio Tinto Alcon Dragon Boat website.

      Meanwhile, the Mountain Equipment Co-op Big Chop Summer Paddle Series offers 10 races on Thursday evenings for standup paddleboarders, kayakers, and canoeists in Vancouver, beginning on May 3. Competitors can show up on race days at Vanier Park beside the H. R. MacMillan Space Centre. More information is at the Big Chop website.

      For those who prefer to sprint through the woods, the Salomon 5 Peaks Trail Running Series begins at Golden Ears Provincial Park on May 11 and is followed by races in Alice Lake Provincial Park and Cypress Provincial Park and at Whistler Blackcomb and Buntzen Lake. More information is at the 5 Peaks Adventures website.

      There are still eight races left in the Lower Mainland Road Race Series, which offers local residents a chance to compete on a fairly regular basis through August. The next event is the five-kilometre BMO St. Patrick’s Day run on March 16, followed by a half-marathon in Gibsons on April 7 and an eight-kilometre run in Vancouver on May 26. More information about the series is at the Lower Mainland Race Series website.

      The most serious long-distance runners in the region have probably already marked their calendars with the BMO Vancouver Marathon, which takes place in the streets of the city on May 5. CNN Travel declared the Vancouver race to be one of the most exotic in the world. More information is at the BMO Vancouver Marathon website.

      Every year, there are numerous bicycle and triathlon races across the province. The best clearinghouse for information is the B.C. Race Review website. It also includes information about running competitions.