The Test of Humanity is all about giving. This is clearly evident by the many volunteers, organizations, businesses and participants that come together on race day.
The fifth annual Test of Humanity was held on Sunday, with a total of 230 mountain bike riders taking part in the different race categories.
Organizers of the event, Nic and Shei Seaton of Summerland reported that approximately $210,000 has been raised over the last five years.
All of the money raised from pledges and entrance fees is donated to Canadian Humanitarian, a non-religious, non-profit organization that provides for orphaned and vulnerable children in Ethiopia. The founder of the organization, Dr. Richard Northcott is also involved with putting on the event.
Shei Seaton, who teaches at Okanagan College, took a group of students to Ethiopia to do humanitarian work and when they returned home they all wanted to do more.
They decided to try and do a mountain bike race and after two years of working towards that goal the first Test of Humanity Race was held.
“In 2011 we started supporting Canadian Humanitarian with this bike race and it’s had huge community support since then. It’s been a lot of fun. People like to have fun and at the same time they get to do something that is special,” explained Shei Seaton. “We’ve been part of building a school in Ethiopia and we’ve supported numerous students in their education. That is the kind of support that creates change in the world and that’s why we continue.”
The annual event has been designed for the whole family with categories and courses for mountain bike riders of all ages and abilities.
To accommodate as many as possible the race is divided into five main categories, the Half-Hour Test (ages three to six), the One-Hour Test (ages seven to 10), the Two-Hour Test (ages 11-15), the Test Ride (one lap for ages 16 and over) and the Four-Hour Test (ages 16 and over).
The course for the 4 Hour Test is a 9.7 kilometre loop trail that provides a bit of everything for the riders, including curves, hills and a beautiful view of Summerland and Okanagan Lake. It requires strength as well as speed and is not only fun but technical too.
Some changes were made to the course this year.
“We moved the trail over. There is a very popular hiking trail that leads up into the Test of Humanity course that has been there for years and we thought with the amount of bikes that were now on the course, that we’d leave that to the horses and hikers. We moved the trail up,” explained Nic Seaton. “We added 1.5 kilometre of trail to the course and now it’s separate which is great and it’s actually really good fun and everybody likes it a lot.”
For the riders taking part in the races, not only do they get to do something that they love to do, but they also know they are contributing to a good cause and giving back.
One such young cyclist, Chloe Harrold, who completed the Two-Hour Test, said,
“It’s a great course. They put so much work into it. The race is really fun to do.”
For a list of the winners, to learn more about the cause and to see all those who contribute to making the race a reality, go to www.testofhumanity.com.
If you know a positive story about someone in our community, contact Carla McLeod at email@example.com or contact the Summerland Review newsroom at 250-494-5406.