The Canmore Nordic Centre, through the Friends of Kananaskis, has signed a five-year agreement with 24 Hours of Adrenalin race organizers Twenty4 Sports Inc. that will see race organizers donate $40,000 to improve and fix trails.
“This is based on the feedback about how beat up the trails are after 24 Hours of Adrenalin,” said Magi Scallion, events co-ordinator with the Canmore Nordic Centre. “It allows us to build trails to a higher standard.”
24 Hours of Adrenalin is the longest standing event at the Canmore Nordic Centre, dating back to 1994.
“The Canmore event is designated a ‘classic’ and we at Twenty4 Sports Inc. take our responsibility as leaders to champion efforts in support of mountain-biking in Alberta,” said Stuart Dorland, president and founder of the organization in a news release.
It is the first time the Canmore Nordic Centre has received money from a private doner. The money will first go to the not-for-profit organization Friends of Kananaskis and later flow to the Nordic Centre. The Friends of Kananaskis are involved in an ‘Adrenalin weekend’ which brings out volunteers the week before the race to help fix trails.
Scallion said the deal was worth pursuing because the race has such a large effect upon the trails and the money will end up paying parks staff or contractors to build bridges, cut trees and improve drainage on the trails.
The Nordic Centre has established a permanent 24 Hours of Adrenalin course and the money will be spent maintaining that section, Scallion said. That includes a new boardwalk through the section called ‘The Swamp’ and trail rehabilitation between the Meadow and FYI.
Scallion said there is also a proposal for a 32-inch boardwalk and additional technical section on the 24 Hours of Adrenalin course.
Scallion said the scale of the work means they cannot rely solely on volunteers and need to use their own trail crews or contractors to finish the work.
Many trail crew jobs are given to young cross-country ski or biathlon athletes who train at the Nordic Centre during the winter months.
If the race stays in Canmore, she anticipates more funding to follow.
This year’s race was a success according to organizers, however, there was more wildlife activity. Riders reported spotting a bear and a cougar on the course and only a handful of riders carried bear spray.