For six years, the Rec Rut Runners recreational ski race league has been held at Kimberley Alpine Resort (KAR).
Founder and “God Father” Brian Rhodes had a long time vision to bring adult recreational racing to Kimberley, and with the help of Ski School Director at KAR, Rob Duncan, the league has grown exponentially over the past six years.
Marketing Manager at KAR, Megan Field says that both Duncan and Rhodes have years of coaching experience in ski racing. Rhodes is a former Canadian Para Alpine Coach and Manager, Level 3 Instructor, Level 2 Coach, and has countless years of managing ski resorts and coaching skiers. He was also the previous General Manager at Kimberley Alpine Resort.
Duncan is a former Alberta Team Racer who raced professionally for the PWA Pro Tour, former coach of the Alberta Masters, the current Ski School Director and a Level 3 Instructor and Level 2 Coach.
“Both of them are out there analyzing your skiing and shouting out feedback during race time and video analysis at the Stemwinder [after the race],” explained Field.
Rhodes says that although there are quite a few participants who used to race professionally, the Rec Rut Runners league is all about fun.
“We have people of all different skill levels participate and it’s [a] really fun and supportive atmosphere,” said Rhodes. “Rob and I are there to give the racers tips and pointers and we see a lot of improvement and a lot of rivalry. Plus we have the awards after, it’s really all about having a good time and improving a little each time.”
All of the runs are timed, with equipment borrowed from the Kimberley Alpine Team, and the average time depends on the participants skill levels.
“We have participants who are ex-Alberta and BC Team racers,” said Field. “Compared to some who enjoy the gates for the very first time. The great thing about it is you find someone who is [of] equal ability level and each week there is a rivalry.”
Field says that on average there are 30 racers or more each week, and some nights have seen as many as 50. The races are dual format, so each participant tries to get in two timed runs on the blue course, and two on the red course.
“Often we see more racers for the apres in the Stemwinder,” said Field. “Friends and family all like to join the apres fun. We have awards, video analysis, beverages and live music.”
The series started on Jan. 4, 2018 and will continue until March 1, 2018. The race track is on the main run, under the lights to lookers left.
Helmets are mandatory and adults ages 19+ are encouraged to sign up for Rec Rut Runners, with no experience required, so long as they are at an intermediate ability level. The cost is $75 for 6 nights or $15 for a drop in, not including the price of a lift ticket.
Register by calling the Winter Sports School at 250.432.0315 or drop in to the rental shop the night of the race between 5p.m. and 6p.m..
The remainder of the race schedule is as follows:
January 26- Dual Retro Dress Giant Slalom Race
February 8 – Kootenay Haus to Pump House – Thigh Burner GS Race
February 15- Dual Glalom Race
March 1 – King of the Hill -Dual Pro Slalom Race