Two prominent Shuswap outdoor athletic events will potentially be making a comeback in 2021.
Organizers behind Salmon Arm’s annual Salty Dog Enduro and Shuswap Ultra Run (hosted as a Lewiston Ultra event) are in the process of acquiring approvals to host the events this year. Both were cancelled in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Kara Leinweber, director of the Enduro and the Shuswap Ultra, because COVID-19 restrictions will likely still be in effect, both events are being revised for 2021.
The Salty Dog Enduro mountainbike event, held on the South Canoe trails, is being planned for the weekend of May 14 to 16. In a letter to Salmon Arm council asking for the city’s approval, Leinweber explained the modified event would involve staggered start times for riders, physical distancing and limited numbers, an additional waiver and various checks related to COVID-19.
Riders would finish with a ride through Klahani Park to grab a burger and a mug commemorating the event’s 20th anniversary.
Regarding the use of Klahani, Leinweber explained the B.C. Ministry of Transportation will asked for use of the nearby gravel pit for parking. This, she said, would provide enough room without displacing area residents and other park users.
The Salmon Arm Economic Development Society, Downtown Salmon Arm, Shuswap Tourism, the Shuswap Trail Alliance and the Salmon Arm and Sicamous chambers of commerce have signed a joint letter in support of the modified Salty Dog event being held this year. The same organizations (except the Salmon Arm chamber) also signed a letter supporting the return of the Shuswap Ultra, planned for Sept. 25-26.
In a separate letter to city council, Leinweber explained the Shuswap Ultra cross-country running race, if approved, would once again begin in Klahani Park. The 60-kilometre run would finish at Hyde Mountain Golf Resort, while the 10- and 20-km runs would end at the Larch Hills Nordic chalet.
As with the Enduro, the 2021 Ultra would follow current provincial COVID-19 regulations/restrictions and will include a staggered start, limited numbers, an additional waiver and COVID-19 checks. Use of the gravel pit will be requested for this event as well.
The Larch Hills Nordic Society also offered its support for the Ultra event, provided it has the approval of the provincial health officer and adheres to COVID-19 safety protocols.