By Andrea Arnold

The Valemount Bike Park is hosting one of nine stops on the cross-Canada schedule for the Canadian Enduro League on Sunday July 16th. Valemount will join the ranks of Whistler and Sunpeaks in the national spotlight.

“This is the first time ever to host a race in Valemount,” says Ted Morton, founder of the Canadian Enduro League, “We expect riders from all over northern BC and Alberta as well as the Yukon, and will see several new riders.”

As with all Enduro League events, participants must be 13 years of age or older on race day unless given special approval by the race manager.

Morton says the course in Valemount is for riders with strong intermediate or expert riding skills.

“It is not suitable terrain for beginners,” he said. “If you are comfortable on black diamond runs, then this is the place for you.”

An Enduro race is different from a downhill race from the top to the bottom of a trail. Riders must pedal around the network of trails to access different timed segments of trail. 

“Typically there are five segments,” said Curtis Pawliuk, Valemount and Area Recreation Development Association general manager. Only these five segments are timed, although riders have to do an extensive amount of pedaling to access the locations spread throughout the network.”

The Enduro Canada website explains that courses will be fully marked using tape, arrows and signs. Dangers, hazard areas and intersections will be clearly marked. Riders are asked to stick to the trail. Riders who take shortcuts are disqualified.

Riders are required to wear full face helmets that were manufactured between 2019 and 2023. All other personal protective gear is recommended.

The course will be released publicly on social media on Friday the 14th and at that point spectators can look at the route and choose their preferred viewing location. Morton says spectators can stand along the trail, as long as they are careful to not cross over, or get in the way.

“The main staging area will have a lot of racing buzz going on, but an Enduro can be a bit challenging to spectate,” said Pawlik.

“Enduro racing is a very popular activity with a strong following and the Canadian Enduro team does an amazing job,” said Pawliuk. “While our trail system is quite popular already and currently provides a major boost to our local economy, this race has the potential to showcase Valemount to a couple hundred people who may not have already experienced what an amazing place this is.”

Valemount was chosen for the event because of the tools available to riders and the community, Morton says.

“It is the quality of trails and the construction type,” he said. “They are built well and maintained and managed very well. It is also the culture of the community. You feel like you are home, welcomed by the community.”

Morton says that they have about 150 riders registered and although they normally close registration the Tuesday before the event, this time interested individuals have until Friday July 14th to submit their registration.