Traffic control costs could derail the second annual Conquer the Lake marathon planned for June 11 for Lake Country.
Marathon organizer Shannen Beckinsale said it will cost $5,000 to stage the event, a fundraiser for the Rail Trail project, along the Pelmewash Parkway between Winfield and Oyama.
For last year’s inaugural marathon, held on a circuit around Wood Lake, the traffic control service was provided for free by the municipality’s primary traffic control contractor.
But Beckinsale said the district was unable to help off-set those costs this year, and advised her to seek an alternative route that was less complicated for traffic control.
“With the Wood Lake route, it involved crossing a number of intersections and going across Highway 97. I considered the rail trail where I would eventually like to stage this event but it’s not open for public use yet,” Beckinsale said.
Her search led her to Pelmewash, a workable route, but that meant she was dealing with the ministry of highways, which still owns the roadway.
She said the traffic control quote from the Ansan Traffic Control Group was the best from several quotes she sought out, but the cost is still prohibitive for her unless additional sponsorship can be found.
With a deadline of having a plan in place for the highways ministry within the next week to 10 days, Beckinsale says she may be faced this year with cancelling the event, which already has 64 runners registered from across the Central Okanagan as well as Grand Forks and Kamloops.
“I might have to cancel it this year but you worry about the event’s reputation going forward if that happens.”
An environmental biologist and construction site health safety officer, Beckinsale started up a running group that meets Mondays and Wednesdays after moving to Lake Country four years ago.
More than 100 people have since signed up for the club, which led Beckinsale to the idea of staging a marathon to raise money for the Rail Trail, which she says ultimately would be an ideal long-distance running venue.
“It will be a great multi-purpose asset for our community for tourists and local residents to use,” Beckinsale said of the Rail Trail.
Anyone wishing to register, become a sponsor or get more information about the marathon can check out the website www.conquerthelake.ca.