By Steve Hubrecht

Pioneer Staff

The valleys longest-standing trail run is back again, promising to be better than ever this year, much to the delight of Kootenay trail runners eager to kick off the competitive running season.

The annual Crazy Soles Nipika Trail Run is now in its seventh year and is set for Saturday, May 24th at Nipika Mountain Resort.

We are expecting it to be our biggest ever, said co-organizer Beva Kirk. Registration is looking great and people are really excited.

The run is not only the third leg of the four-part Nipika Mountain Challenge, but also the first leg of the five-race Trail Runs of the East Kootenay (or TREK) series. The other races in the Nipika Mountain Challenge are the Nipika Classic Loppet, the Toby Creek Nordic Skate Loppet and the Kootenay Krusher mountain bike race. The East Kootenay trail running series has this year dropped down to five events, three of them based here in the Upper Columbia Valley the Crazy Soles run, the Swansea Scramble and the Headbanger trail run.

The Crazy Soles Nipika Trail run actually consists of five differently named runs, including the kilometre-and-a-half Smart Ass course, the three-kilometre Three Sisters course, the five-kilometre Half Ass course, the 10-kilometre Kick Ass course and the 25-kilometre Kootenay Crossing course.

We have been working with Kicking Horse Coffee to label and mark all of our courses for this years run. We have all the signs made up with distance markers, its sure to bring a few smiles out, said Mrs. Kirk. Awards are special this year, but well keep details on that a secret for now.

Those interested in learning more or signing up can register online at or stop by Crazy Soles running store on Invermeres main street.

Organizers are also looking for volunteers to help with the race. If youre interested, get in touch with Mrs. Kirk at the Crazy Soles store at 250-342-2074.