As the daybreak of June 3 ushers in the first blush of summer, runners from all over will converge on the northwestern corner of British Columbia to participate in the eagerly anticipated Skeena River Relay.
Spanning 142.4 kilometres of breathtaking Canadian terrain, this unique relay offers participants the chance to run from Prince Rupert, known as the “Ocean Gateway of the North,” to Terrace. The scenic course runs parallel to the Skeena River, known as the “River of Mist” to the Ts’msyen people, on Highway 16.
The relay kicks off at the Lester Center of the Arts, located at 1100 McBride St., in Prince Rupert. Runners will then journey through 10 distinct stages. Each team consists of 10 runners, with a minimum of five per team.
While the relay promises to challenge even seasoned runners, it is not all about athletic prowess.
A spirit of camaraderie is fostered as teams, such as the City of Prince Rupert and the Skeena River SeaDogs, compete in one of six categories: open, mixed, corporate, women, masters, and masters women.
Organizers have ensured that the practical needs of the participants are met with seven designated bathroom stops peppered along the 142.4 kilometre stretch. Among these comfort stations are the Oliver Lake Recreation Site and the Exstew Rest Area.
After the trials and tribulations of the day, participants can look forward to a relaxing end to the day. The final stage culminates at the Hidden Acres Farm and Treehouse Resort, located at 3527 River Dr., in Terrace, where dinner and drinks await the weary but triumphant runners.
As the Skeena River Relay returns to Terrace this year, it offers not just a test of physical endurance but also an opportunity to explore the serene landscapes of B.C., fostering both sportsmanship and a deep appreciation of the natural world.
Viktor Elias joined the Terrace Standard in April 2023.