McLeese Lake is the scenic site of a new trail race being organized for mid-September, which will start and end at the McLeese Lake Recreation Hall. Reason 2 Run in Quesnel is organizing the Soul 2 Sole Trail Race Sept. 15 in McLeese Lake as a fundraiser for the McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Department. Facebook/Reason 2 Run photo

New Soul 2 Sole Trail Race will raise money for new McLeese Lake fire hall

The event will take place Sept. 15 and will include a 5K hike, 11K hike/walk, 11K run and 16K run

A new trail race being planned for mid-September will support the McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Department and give runners and hikers a chance to experience some breath-taking views.

Reason 2 Run is holding the first-ever McLeese Lake Soul 2 Sole Trail Race September 15, starting at the McLeese Lake Recreation Hall.

Reason 2 Run owner Candace Miller moved to McLeese Lake last summer, and she said she knew the fire department there had been fundraising for a while to get a new fire hall that would allow them to be a certified fire department, and they wanted to do something to help.

“We thought ‘wouldn’t it be great to do some sort of fundraiser for them,’” she said. “Once we started using the trails here, we decided we really needed to do something. The views are what told me we have to have some sort of event out here. I think the biggest thing was being able to help get the fire hall going,” said Miller.

Miller said they were originally thinking of doing something informal, but then the McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Department and the McLeese Lake Recreation Committee said they could use their hall, and it has blossomed into a bigger event with four options for participants.

Read more: McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Dept. gifted new truck

“We’ve had lots of interest,” said Miller, noting she has only advertised the event through Facebook so far.

Participants can choose from a 16K run, an 11K hike/walk, an 11K run and a 5K hike. Miller said all the distances are an out-and-back route, and the trails are wide, without any technical single-track sections.

There is what Miller calls “a generous climb” at the beginning of each route, and then it is an undulating course after that.

“Originally, we had the 11K and the 16K,” said Miller. “Then we realized, with a bit of feedback and people asking me, it is a challenging climb the first two to 2.5 kilometres, and some people were concerned if they could do it. I realized one of the junctions is at 2.5 kilometres, and it’s no more work to make a 5K route. We don’t want people to feel they are getting in over their head, especially with it being a new route … and we want to access more participants because the more people they are, the more money we donate.”

The race starts with a beautiful lake view of McLeese Lake from the Recreation Hall and climbs to a great view at the turnaround point, which overlooks the ranches of Soda Creek, then returns to the start line, where runners and hikers can enjoy a refreshing post-race swim.

Participants will receive a unique custom-made wooden finisher’s medal, which was designed by Reason 2 Run employee Jessica Oldring.

“It was nice for Jessica to design the logo,” said Miller.

The McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Department has volunteered to do first aid at the turnaround points.

There will be snacks and refreshments provided at the viewpoint and at the finish line, and Soda Creek Farm will be offering corn and a barbecue after the event. Participants will have a chance to win draw prizes.

Miller is excited to be able to share the beautiful trails she’s been running with other people in this area.

“It’s a great venue,” she noted. “We have a hall that has bathrooms, a beach for people to have a swim, and trails that are right there.”

Registration for the McLeese Lake Soul 2 Sole Trail Race is $40 before Sept. 5 and $45 after Sept. 5, and anyone who is interested in running, hiking or walking can register in person at Reason 2 Run at 428 Reid St. in Quesnel or find the registration form online at reason2run.ca and email it to reason2run@shaw.ca or mail it to the store. There will also be race-day resignation until 8:30 a.m. Payment can be made through the store or by e-transfer.

Bib pickup will be Sept. 13 and 14 at the store, or racers who do not live in Quesnel will be able to pick up their bibs the morning of the event at the McLeese Lake Recreation Hall.

The race will start Sept. 15 at 9 a.m. for the 16K run and 11K hike/walk and at 9:30 a.m. for the 5K hike and 11K run.

For more information about the race, call 250-992-2786 or email reason2run@shaw.ca.

READ MORE: Run raises $2,500 for Quesnel school breakfast program


Lindsay Chung
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