Sigge’s P’ayakentsut continues to grow and the third edition of the annual cross-country skiing event will be the biggest race yet.
Event chair Dirk Rohde expects a total of 700 skiers to hit the trails at Whistler Olympic Park (WOP) on Saturday (Feb. 23) and said he hopes a number of minor tweaks to the race will keep participants pleased.
“We’re happy with where the registration is at, the snow conditions are looking good and we’ve got things quite well organized, so it should be a good race,” he said.
Rohde said the course has been altered slightly and more signage has been posted throughout the race course.
“We got some feedback that it was a little difficult last year so the course will be a little easier,” he said. “We’ve also got brand new signs up so people can actually go out and try the course whenever they want.”
Another change is that organizers have bucked up and will offer cash to the top three men and women finishers in the 50- and 30-kilometre races. Last year it was only the Fischer Primes that saw winners take home some loot. Along with the 50, 30 and 15 km races, an improved and more organized kids’ competition is on the schedule for 2013.
“We’ve got a little more organization with the kids groups this year,” Rohde said. “We also have a venue map for the kids events, which is posted on our website [www.payak.ca.] if people want to check it out.”
Rohde said the kids tournament sold out in rapid fashion and the youth ski cross should also have a record number of participants.
“One of the goals of the Sigge's P’ayak is to be a fun event for the whole family and we are really excited to be achieving that this year,” he said. “The registration for the loppet events is showing several family members signing up together, which is fantastic. The younger children can take part in the kids’ and youth events and the parents are skiing the loppet together. In some cases the whole family is skiing the loppet.”
It all gets underway at 10 a.m. for the 50 km and kids racers, with 30 km participants hitting the trails at 10:05 a.m. and 15 km racers getting started at 10:10 a.m.
For more information on the race, visit www.payak.ca. or check out the race’s Twitter feed - @payakentsut.