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Posted: August 18, 2014

Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo registration deadline soon

If you want to ride in the second annual Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo you’d better get your act together quickly because the registration deadline Aug. 31 is coming up faster than a downhill spin on the Tour de France.

Registration in the popular event has already matched last year’s total of 271 and organizers are hoping for at least 350 entrants in this year’s ride, says head Fondo organizer and Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary Club member Glenn Dobie.

“Last year we had a late registration rush and we got more than 60 in the final week. Hopefully, it will be the same this year and we’ll have more than 350 registered in the end,” he said.

Russell Simpson and Amanda Keylock from Oxford, England - our first overseas registrants.
Russell Simpson and Amanda Keylock from Oxford, England – our first overseas registrants.

Registrations are pouring in from all over the Kootenays as well as other parts of B.C., Alberta, the U.S. and one from as far away as Oxford, England.

Registration can be completed in less than five minutes on-line at . Any other information would-be registrants need is available at the Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo site on Facebook.

This year’s major sponsor is Taylor Adams Chartered Accountants. The money raised will go to the Cranbrook-Kimberley Rails to Trails Society and Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary Club’s ‘Paint the Train’ project now nearing completion at the Railway Museum site in Cranbrook. Other funds will go to Rotary charitable programs in the community and abroad as well as other local service group projects.

“This shows what a broad-based community endeavor the Fondo really is,” says Dobie. Last year’s Gran Fondo raised $ 21,000 with $4,000 going for maintenance and upgrading of the Rails2Trails project which has become one of the most popular attractions in the region for tourists and locals alike.

Interest is surging in this year’s Gran Fondo with national nutritional brand Clif Bar coming aboard last week as a nutritional sponsor and supplying all riders with nutrition bars and gels during the event. Every rider in the event will get a swag bag with a T-shirt, water bottle, and mini-flashlight, pen and a course map to help them through the route.

In a major route change this year, all cyclists will pass through the Kimberley Platzl giving an opportunity for friends and supporters to take pictures and shout encouragement from the sidelines while relaxing over a beverage or a meal in one of Kimberley’s coffee shops or restaurants.

Like last year, the ride will start and end at the St. Eugene Mission Golf Resort and Casino with a post ride buffet dinner provided by the resort’s catering staff and live entertainment by, ‘The Testers,’ a popular local rock & roll band.

There will also be prizes awarded for the Best Team Spirit sponsored by The Heid Out Restaurant and Brew House and a King and Queen of the Mountain Award (Open & Masters Age Groups) for the fastest time up the grueling, eight per cent, Fort Steele Hill sponsored by the Pedal and Tap Restaurant in Kimberley.

Once again there will be three distances in the event. The Piccolo covers 57 kms, the Medio 102 kms and the Gran Fondo 152 kms.

Cyclists will be fully supported along the way with water, Gatorade, Clif nutritional products, fresh fruit and first aid stations as well as mechanical support, ride marshals and signs marking the way.

Some riders treat the Gran Fondo as a race, but the majority ride for fun and some exercise.

“You really can’t beat the beauty of our ride. You cross three rivers and ride through a variety of the terrain that is just jaw dropping beautiful,” commented Dobie. That’s why you need to register online by 11:59 p.m. Aug. 31 or you will miss out on one of the region’s premier recreational events.

Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary Club

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