McLeese Lake’s Soul 2 Sole Trail Race sees great community support, participation

Cindi Saj (from left, back), Danika Volkmann, Kim Lewis, Anita Diepdael, Kate MacAlister, Deanna Saunders, Brandy Links (front left) and Olivia Stinchcombe attended the Soul 2 Sole Trail Race at McLeese Lake Sept. 19.Cindi Saj (from left, back), Danika Volkmann, Kim Lewis, Anita Diepdael, Kate MacAlister, Deanna Saunders, Brandy Links (front left) and Olivia Stinchcombe attended the Soul 2 Sole Trail Race at McLeese Lake Sept. 19.
Elizabeth Hirsh of Prince George was the fastest runner in the race with a time of one hour, 12 minutes and 12 seconds.<ins> (Photo submitted)</ins>Elizabeth Hirsh of Prince George was the fastest runner in the race with a time of one hour, 12 minutes and 12 seconds. (Photo submitted)
A group of women travelled from Fraser Lake to take in the Soul 2 Sole Trail Race. (Photo submitted)A group of women travelled from Fraser Lake to take in the Soul 2 Sole Trail Race. (Photo submitted)
Amanda Rideout takes in the scenery at the turnaround point during Sunday’s Soul 2 Sole Trail Race. (Photos submitted)Amanda Rideout takes in the scenery at the turnaround point during Sunday’s Soul 2 Sole Trail Race. (Photos submitted)
Jan Schmidt of Williams Lake clocked a time of one hour and 45 minutes in the hike.(Photo submitted)Jan Schmidt of Williams Lake clocked a time of one hour and 45 minutes in the hike.(Photo submitted)
Soul 2 Sole Trail Race organizer Candace Miller said the event was a great turn out and a lot of fun this year. (Photo submitted)Soul 2 Sole Trail Race organizer Candace Miller said the event was a great turn out and a lot of fun this year. (Photo submitted)

With world class views and second-to-none community support, another McLeese Lake Soul 2 Sole Trail Race and fundraiser is in the books.

Avid runner, Quesnel businesswoman and event organizer Candace Miller said the Soul 2 Soul race Sunday, Sept. 19 was the second time the event has been run and proved to be another spectacular success in terms of number of participants as well as fundraising.

One hundred adults and 10 children took part in the race which featured a 11K hike, an 11K run and a 16K run as well as a 2k run for children. All trails began and ended at the McLeese Lake Recreation Hall. The 16k run and 11K hike started at 10 a.m., the 11K run kicked off at 10:30 a.m. while the children’s race started at 9 a.m.

The race route started with a beautiful lake view of McLeese Lake and gradually climbed to a great view at the turnaround point which overlooks Soda Creek, and then back to the starting line. The weather was cool, and there were lots of puddles on the trails from recent rain.

Miller started Soul 2 Sole in 2019 after moving to the community three years ago with her husband Joe O’Neill. Discovering the trails herself, Miller said she knew she had to put on a community running event.

“It’s such a beautiful community, we wanted to give back,” she said.

Miller, who owns Reason 2 Run in downtown Quesnel, said the fastest overall runner was Prince George resident Elizabeth Hirch with an outstanding time of one hour, 12 minutes and 12 seconds. Three siblings – Anna, Violet and Willa Burkey from Williams Lake – took first, second and third place finishes in the children’s race.

Miller said she started running herself when she was 25 years old as a way to get some exercise and lose some weight.

“It just snowballed from there,” said Miller, whose running friends helped her put on the event.

After the physical side of the event was finished, participants were treated to a lunch by donation of fresh donated Soda Creek corn and beef patties donated by Soda Creek Sweet Corn on buns donated by Save-On-Foods in Williams Lake. Dessert included homemade cinnamon buns.

“We had a great turnout from the Cariboo,” Miller said, noting participants were from Quesnel, Prince George Williams Lake and Fraser Lake.

She said being able to get outside and “forget what’s going on in the world, even if just for a little while” was a highlight of the event, which raised more than $3,000 for the community.


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