Bode Miller, world cup alpine ski racer, said it in black and white terms, “Sometimes it’s all about the win, sometimes it’s about the skiing.”
Every Friday in Sun Peaks a group of devoted individuals take to the hill for some friendly downhill competitions, combining their love of skiing and their itch to win, in the Friday Race Series (FRS).
“(The race) was started by a ragtag bunch of locals that wanted to race,” says Ilene Logan, FRS volunteer coordinator. “It was a race for locals with two timed runs and a beer ticket.”
Over the years the race has evolved, passing through leaders such as Ron “Shorty” Stiles and David Lambert. The sponsorship started with Remax Alpine Resort Realty donating the race bibs in 1993, and has grown with donations from the Rosedale on Robson hotel, including a three night stay at the hotel in Vancouver for the winner.
“All of the restaurants (and cafés) on the mountain have contributed gift certificates and we do a bib draw every Friday for one of those prizes,” says Logan.
And of course, there’s always the free beer ticket and two timed runs that brought the group together in the first place. With anywhere between 30 and 50 racers on an average Friday, the races have become a hit with locals and guests alike.
Local business owner, Andre Grether, has been involved in the races for five years now and enjoys the effect the friendly competition has on his skiing.
“I think that everybody should give it a try at least once and just see how they do,” says Grether. “It sharpens up your free skiing and there (are) a lot of good people out there having a good time — and you get free beer out of it!”
The race is open to both locals and visitors to the resort. Registration is in the Village Day Lodge from 8:30 to 10 a.m. every Friday. After the last race on March 21, a final awards ceremony will take place where the grand prize — two adult return air tickets to Vancouver donated by Travelwise Travel & Cruise centre, and three nights’ stay at the Rosedale on Robson in Vancouver — will be given to the winner of a draw that includes every racer who participated in seven of the nine races.
Whether you’re an experienced racer or looking to try something new, the volunteers, staff and racers would welcome any newcomers because, as Grether says “There’s nothing like having those red and blues in front of you to make you want to try and get better.”