The 6th Annual Giants Head Grind Race is taking place on Saturday, May 18th, 2019.
Starting at Peach Orchard Park on the the shore of Okanagan Lake, participants race 5.6+ kilometers ‘beach-to-peak’ with an elevation gain of 500 meters, finishing at the top of Giants Head Mountain. An optional bike race runs in the morning, with participants making the trek up Summerland's volcanic landmark. And, for those crazy enough to try it, racers can also choose to do both the bike race in the morning and walk/run in the afternoon.
The race is spearheaded and managed by Ellen and Tom Matthews together with The Rotary Club of Summerland, and a very committed group of local Summerland residents and sponsors. The goal is to showcase the beautiful Giant’s Head Mountain and the community of Summerland, while raising funds for colon cancer detection, diagnostics and research. Proceeds of the race also provide funding for the upkeep and improvement of the trail system in Giant’s Head Park with the support of the City of Summerland.
In 2013, Rotarian Roch Fortin brought the idea of organizing a race up Summerland's Giants Head Mountain to Ellen and Tom Matthews, who had lost their son Christopher Walker to colon cancer that same year. The couple jumped on the opportunity as a means of keeping their son's memory alive. By encouraging physical outdoor activity and promoting health and wellness, Ellen and Tom knew they would be honouring the memory of Chris in a way that would have made him proud.
The Rotary Club of Summerland is always looking for new ways to support the community of Summerland in the South Okanagan. Part of Rotary’s long-term vision for Giant’s Head Park is to improve the quality and accessibility of the trails for everyone to enjoy, and to assist in ensuring the sustainability of those trails by upgrading signage and providing an educational component to the trail.
Putting a Face on Cancer
It is hard to believe that our desire to keep the memory of our son Christopher Walker alive, by bringing awareness to early detection and prevention of Colon Cancer and raising funds for the Giants Head Mountain Trails, has become so much more. Since 2014, we have brought together a growing community of participants, volunteers and local residents for a weekend-long event full of amazing memories and a hope for a future that is colon cancer free.
Whether you have joined us each year or are considering participating in your first race, we hope to see you May long weekend in Summerland, BC. After all, there really is no time like the present to Conquer The Giant!