COLUMN: A destination for recreation

Summerland’s many parks, beaches, mountains, scenic roads and trails make it attractive for many different recreation events.

Summerland’s many parks, beaches, mountains, scenic roads and trails make it attractive for many different recreation, sporting, triathlon and endurance events.  Here’s a peak into some summer sporting events in Summerland.

The June 27 to 29 Ride the Giant has just wrapped up at Giant’s Head Mountain, bringing hundreds of long boarders from all over Canada and the USA. This event showcases our town internationally.

Many American participants enjoy the long road trip for what they explain is one of the best long boarding events on the continent. www.giantheadfreeride.com.

The internationally celebrated Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan (PGAMO) cycling race rolls through Summerland on Sunday July 10.  This event has four distance options: Granfondo (160 kilometres) Velocefondo (New for 2016, 126 km), Mediofondo (92 km) and Cortofondo (55 km).

All the races start in Penticton, looping up to Summerland and back return south towards Okanagan Falls or Oliver and finish back in Penticton.

Wake up early Sunday morning at 7 a.m. to see the wave of hundreds of cyclists enter Summerland from the highway onto Lakeshore Drive, up Peach Orchard hill and past Memorial Park where an aid station is located.  Cheer on cyclists from all over the world who are enjoying the scenic views of the Okanagan and Summerland.  www.granfondoaxelmerckx.com.

The Ultra520K is a three day endurance event starting July 30 until Aug. 1.  As an invitation only event, a maximum of 35 to 40 athletes are permitted to participate.  Day 1 is both an endurance 10 km swim and 150 km bike. Day 2 is a 275 km endurance bike.  Day 3 on Aug. 1 is the endurance run, a double marathon 84.4 km, from Princeton to Summerland. The finish line is in Memorial Park in Summerland starting at 1 p.m. and the chute closing at 7 p.m.  Come and see some of the world’s finest endurance athletes accomplish an amazing feat on an Okanagan course! www.ultra520Kcanada.com.

TriPower, a Summerland triathlon club is hosting two events this summer.

The ‘Fun in the Sun’ triathlon in Trout Creek on July 16 and an Open Water Swim Event at Powell Beach on Aug. 14.

There are many age categories and distances available for the beginner up to the experienced.  Enjoy registration fees as low as $20 to $25.

Enjoy the lake swims, biking and running here in Summerland! www.tripowertriclub.com.

The last weekend of summer, Labour Day long weekend, marks the Summerland ORCA Swim Team’s largest fundraiser, the Summerland ORCA Sprint Triathlon and Kids of Steel Triathlon.  With race distances for all age groups and an official Sprint Triathlon distances for adults, it is a big attraction for all levels of triathletes from across BC and beyond.  As a sanctioned TriathlonBC race, many people are ending their triathlon season with a bang here at Summerland’s Peach Orchard Park.  www.orcaswimclub.net.

Joanne Malar is the program coordinator for Summerland Recreation, three-time Olympic swimmer, 2012 Olympic Commentator, kinesiologist and holistic nutritionist.