The Valley Vertikiller trail running race debuts on Saturday.

The Valley Vertikiller trail running race debuts on Saturday.

Valley Vertikiller trail race debuts Saturday

New event occurs in the trails of Sumas Mountain

This isn’t your average hike.

The first-ever Valley Vertikiller hits the trails of Sumas Mountain on Saturday, and the event is set to be the most challenging local trail running race.

The 25-kilometre course features 1,500 metres of elevation gain, and boasts views all across the Fraser Valley.

It all came about from the minds of members of the Abbotsford Trail Running Club.

“We’ve been around 18 or 19 months and put on clinics and things to engage the community but members have also raced in events all over the Lower Mainland,” explained the ATRC’s Carlos Zamora. “We have such beautiful trails out here, and some people think we have nothing in Abbotsford, so we decided to show what Abbotsford has to offer.”

All 125 spots for the race have already been sold, and Zamora said he’s excited to showcase Abbotsford to some of the best trail runners in B.C. and surrounding areas.

“It’s going to be a tough race,” he said. “There’s 1,500 m of elevation and most of that is within the first eight km. It’s more of a strategy race, most people like going out hard to start, but if you do that in this race then the back half will be painful.”

Zamora said he expects the top finishers to complete the course in about three or three and a half hours, but the average runner should take about five hours. He said they will be cutting the race off for finishes at the seven hour mark.

“If you look at who has registered for this race it’s a lot of top local names and really isn’t for the faint of heart,” he said. “It’s going to be a challenging race.”

He said the event will become an annual race, and there is potential to run a series with other locations in the Fraser Valley. Partial proceeds from the event are going to Central Fraser Valley Search and Rescue.

For more information on the event, visit valleyvertikiller.com.