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Elevator comes back down to Penticton

After the success of the first Penticton Ramada Elevator Race in 2012, organizers are seeing an increase in people ready to take on the event's uphill/downhill challenges this year.

The number of participants has grown about 50 percent for the race, held by Hoodoo Adventures, in which teams and individuals race from the valley floor up to Apex Mountain Resort.

“The number of people registering is up, and we will probably have about 200 people, compared to the 120 we had last time,” said Lyndie Hill with Hoodoo. “We are glad to see the growth and are looking forward to an exciting second year.”

The course will be much the same for the race on March 23, with one change.

After hearing from last year’s competitors that the downhill portion was too easy, organizers have made it more difficult by including a hiking portion.

The boating section starts on Okanagan Lake and is 8 km out and back, starting and finishing on Lakeshore Drive at the S.S. Sicamous. Upon completion, paddlers will hand their velcro straps to cyclists.

The road cyclists then start at the paddle finish on Lakeshore, head across to the River Channel Parkway and down the path to Green Mountain Road.

They follow Green Mountain Road to the transition for the mountain run.

In this, considered to be the hardest leg of the race, runners will begin their leg, following the Keremeos Creek Road from Green Mountain Road. Runners will need to bring their snowshoes and can put them on whenever they please.

The run/snowshoe finishes at the Apex parking lot, next to Apex Accommodations.

The mountain biking section starts at the parking lot and goes north on Strayhorse Road, following race markings to the Nickel Plate Nordic Ski Centre.

Mountain bikers will dismount at the ski centre’s parking lot and hand off to Nordic skiers who will make their way on trails to the Apex upper parking lot transition area where the downhill begins.

Competitors in the downhill, where the one change to this year’s course is, will ski down Grandfathers Trail to the base of the Bunny Hiull/Magic Carpet. From there skiers/riders will  run/hike with their gear to the top of the Okanagan Run. They then strap their skis/boards back on and go down the Okanagan Run through the gated course.

Cut off time for the entire race is 5:30 p.m.

Highlights of the 2013 event will be Steve King, former announcer of Subaru Ironman Canada and this year, Challenge Penticton, is announcing the race. Bands will also perform Saturday evening.

Individuals or teams entering the race are invited to collect pledges that will contribute toward purchasing an AED, automated external defibrillator, for locations in Penticton identified as high traffic and high risk.

For more information and to register, go to www.theelevatorrace.ca.

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