Kootenay on board for adventure

It takes a community to make big things happen and this summer one of the biggest events of the decade will embark on an extreme adventure.

For the past eight months, Raid the North Extreme (RTNX) has been recruiting teams and volunteers for its upcoming extreme race through the mountains and valleys of the West Kootenay.

After getting local government on board, RTNX  announced Friday the addition of Kootenay Savings Credit Union to its list of local supporters.

“We’re thrilled to have Kootenay Savings on as our partner,” said Geoff Langford, race director. “Kootenay Savings really sees the big picture and finds creative, progressive ways to support tourism and the economic growth and stability of this amazing part of Canada.”

The relationships with Kootenay Savings, the City of Trail and Lower Columbia Community Development Team among others are crucial to the success of the event.

“We’re lucky to live, work and play in the communities we do, and supporting them has always been an important part of the Kootenay Savings philosophy,” said credit union spokesman, Dario Cescon.

“Partnering with Raid the North Extreme is a great avenue for us to get involved in an international event that will highlight the character, history, beauty, and communities of the West Kootenay.”

Close to 50 teams have committed to the race with athletes from as far as Lauzanne Switzerland and as close as Castlegar participating. The number of teams is capped at 50, with teams of four navigating over 500-kilometres of the Selkirk, Monashee and Purcell Mountains by foot, canoe, kayak, mountain bike and fixed ropes. The expedition goes non-stop for six days, the ultimate test of determination, cooperation, athleticism, and endurance.

Kootenay racers from Nelson, Castlegar, Revelstoke and Cranbrook have signed up although Team Bearing in Mind, captained by Doug Clark from Castlegar is finding it difficult attracting endurance athletes to round out his team. A training session in the next couple weeks will determine whether the Mind is in the game.

The course has been charted but remains under wraps until its unveiling on Friday, July 22, following the opening ceremony.

“RTNX is, and has always been, a hard-core traditional expedition race,” said Langford. “We design true point to point courses that traverse the landscape as a n early explorer would have. Competitors will have to deal with exhaustion, weather, elevation, and anything else nature will offer up that week. This is not a scavenger hunt or a day hike; this is real, challenging expedition racing.”

Organizers are still seeking volunteers and will host a volunteer social Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Emporium Room at the Hume Hotel in Nelson.

“We checked there’s no Canucks game,” said Tranchemontagne. “We currently have about 50 volunteers signed up to work the race though we are always looking for more.”

The race runs from July 23-31. For more info or to volunteer go to www.raidthenorthextreme.com.