Spirit Run is the first non-winter sporting event to be held at Whistler Olympic Park

By Keith Bennet

Every Monday until the third Whistler Spirit Run takes place on Sept. 25 and 26, read columns written by guest writers from the world of sport.

As the sun rises just above the treetops in the Callaghan Valley, a flurry of activity begins. Dedicated volunteers move quickly to complete the setup for the third annual Whistler Spirit Run. Trails are being marked, tents are being erected and the finish line clock is being set.

This event is much more than a race — it’s an opportunity for trail runners of all ages and abilities to explore the Callaghan Valley by foot, to meet other runners, and to raise money for the great cause that is KidSport BC. The Whistler Spirit Run is an inspiring event for all.

Whistler Olympic Park played host for the cross-country, biathlon, nordic combined and ski jumping events for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. This venue is now known as North America’s premier nordic area. However, it’s not just a hub for winter activities. In the future, it will host such events as orienteering challenges, mountain bike races and trail-running events, just to name a few.

The Whistler Spirit Run is the first non-winter sporting event to be held at Whistler Olympic Park, and represents the future of our commitment to the legacy venues. I truly believe that our three venues — Whistler Olympic Park, the Whistler Sliding Centre and the Whistler Athletes’ Centre — will be the foundation for sport and community development in Whistler and in Canada for years to come.

This fall, our team will be introducing corporate meeting planners to biathlons, offering piloted public bobsleigh rides and hosting athletes in a lodge where Olympic competitors recuperated. Each of our facilities offers boundless opportunities for use beyond the sports they were built for.

Whistler Sport Legacies is proud to support KidSport BC and its efforts to provide the financial support that allows any child to participate in organized sport. We look forward to supporting the Whistler Spirit Run for many years to come.

Keith Bennett is president and CEO for Whistler Sport Legacies.