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“No frills, just hills.”
Though organizers of the second annual running of “The Cumby” running race are sticking with their tagline from last year, past participants know that when they lace up for the race next Saturday, they can expect a fantastic race day.
“I guess you could say we had a few frills last year,” admits Cathy Clark, co-race director of The Cumby, which takes place May 13 in Cumberland. “We had such a tremendous group of volunteers down at Number Six Mine Park, and all along the route supporting the racers, and we had lots of great feedback from participants.”
As the tagline suggests, hills are also in abundance at The Cumby. The race route winds up, down and around the forested hills overlooking the Village of Cumberland. Spots are still open in the 23-km. distance until May 7, but a brand new 50-km. version sold out quickly – a testament both to the growing popularity of “ultra” racing and the quality of the Cumberland trail system.
“It’s predominantly singletrack, with some challenging uphill climbs, fast descents and spectacular scenic vistas of Baynes Sound, Perseverance Creek and Georgia Strait,” says Clark. “As a race course, it truly has a lot to offer.” Organized by the Comox Valley Road Runners (CVRR), The Cumby promises to be challenging, fun and incredibly scenic. It will also once again benefit a cause that’s near and dear to many local trail runners.
The Cumby takes advantage of an extensive system of established trails, with the route also including parts of the Vancouver Island Spine Trail. Starting in #6 Mine Park in Cumberland, racers will proceed through the Cumberland Community Forest and adjacent working forests as they follow a spectacular route through one of Vancouver Island’s best trail networks.
“Net proceeds of The Cumby will go to the Cumberland Community Forest Society,” explains Clark. “We’re so privileged to have this amazing recreational area at our disposal; being able to have a race that not only celebrates it, but also raises funds to help save it, is something that’s very important to our club.”
In existence since 1980, the Comox Valley Road Runners organize numerous races and events each year, including an annual 5K Running Clinic, the Comox Valley Half Marathon, the Fifth Street Mile and the Nautical Days Four-Mile Foot Race (the oldest continuous running event in British Columbia). Last year’s inaugural version of The Cumby was the club’s first off-road event.
The 23-km. version of the Cumby starts at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 13 at No. Six Mine Park in Cumberland. The 50-km. race starts two hours earlier. To register, or to get involved as a volunteer, visit www.thecumby.ca; follow “The Cumby” on Facebook for other race news. For more information about the Comox Valley Road Runners, visit www.cvrr.ca.