Ready, Set, GO!

Spring is so deliciously short in Fernie that summer sneaks up and knocks you sideways in the race to get outdoors. While you’re busy in the garage greasing the wheels and pulling out the camping gear, the temperature starts creeping towards 30 - so while packing up the bear spray, hiking poles and water bottle, make sure you don’t forget the sunscreen! The sun in the mountains can be fierce, and the cool, gentle mornings often betray the intensity of the midday heat.

To help you keep this in mind, sign up for the Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life in the Elk Valley, volunteer, or sponsor a friend in their fundraising efforts. The Relay will take place at the Fernie Secondary School track on Saturday, June 9 from 11am to 11pm. As a past organizer, I encourage everyone to form or join a team and set a fundraising goal. On the day, everyone is welcome to attend the event, walk, and enjoy the entertainment to support and honour loved ones in the collective fight against cancer. Make sure not to miss the beautiful luminary ceremony at the end of the day, where hundreds of candles line the track for a final lap while the names of those who are fighting or have fought cancer will be read out. The community spirit and energy at this event is truly touching. Visit www.cancer.ca for more information.

The Relay for Life is a whole nine days into the month, however; June begins with the ever-popular Elkford Triathlon on Sunday, June 3, featuring regular and extreme sprint races. The 750km swim section takes place at the Elkford Pool, because, well, hypothermia is not welcome at triathlons; beautiful as the Elk Lakes are, the water is still glacier-cold at this time of year! The 20km bike and 5km run are both out-and-back with the transition zones around the pool, making this an exciting armchair-triathlete event too! For more info or to register, visit www.elkfordtri.ca.

Kids as young as four and Olympic-distance triathletes can join in the fun at the Wasa Lake Triathlon the following weekend (there’s also a sprint event here too). Kids race on Saturday, June 9, while adult events are held the following day. Long-sleeved wetsuits are recommended for that chilly morning swim in beautiful Wasa Lake. The prize purse of $4500 attracts the fastest and best from all over the North West for this start to the triathlon season, and friends and family are encouraged to attend as spectators. Hot lunches, music and entertainment will be available throughout the weekend. Visit www.rmevents.com for more info, and register early as this event sells out well in advance.

Heart racing? Muscles twitching? Itching for more? Good. We’ve only just started. The Fernie Mountain Bike Club Tuesday 2Knee Race series grinds into gear in June, Dem Bones on Tuesday, June 12, R-Trail on Tuesday, June 19 and Verboten on Tuesday, June 26. Races start at 7pm. Check bikefernie.ca for weather/course changes. Tennis Club serves its first volley at the James White Tennis Courts on Thursday, June 7, with weekly meets at 6pm.

STARS in the Valley is your one-stop shop for Father’s Day fun and games. On Saturday, June 17, the whole family is welcome at the Fernie Golf and Country Club for events beginning at noon. Registration is not required. Try your hand at the 5-hole poker or driving range challenge, while the kids enjoy the bouncy castle and mini putt. A silent auction will be available to help raise much needed funds for STARS. On Monday, June 18, the 18-hole Scramble Tournament will attract tough competition. Registration for the Scramble Tournament should be made by June 8 to guarantee entry. For more information, contact ablixt@stars.ca or click the STARS link at www.golffernie.com.

Rounding out the month- three events you won’t want to miss on June 30. Furious3 is back for a second year and registrations are selling furiously, while the Eighth Annual Lizard Range Disc Golf Tournament will once again take over the beautiful course at James White Park. Visit www.furious3.com for full details of the 3-day multi-staged mountain bike race held over Canada Day Weekend, or visit www.ferniediscgolf.com for more on the PDGA sanctioned tournament. Saturday 30 is also official opening day at Fernie Alpine Resort with a preview weekend available on June 23-24. For more, visit www.skifernie.com/summer.

Have fun out there, and don’t forget the sunscreen!