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.
In 2013, Rotarian Roch Fortin brought the inspiration of organizing a race up Summerland's Giants Head Mountain to Ellen Walker-Matthews and her husband 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 5th Annual Giant's Head Grind Race is taking place on Saturday, May 18th, 2019.
The race starts at Peach Orchard Park on the the shores of Okanagan Lake. Participants race ‘beach-to-peak’ finishing at the top of Giant’s Head Mountain. The event covers 5.6+ kilometers with an elevation gain of 500 meters. This year, we are proud to announce the addition of an optional bike race that will make the trek up Summerland's volcanic landmark in the morning. And, for those crazy enough to try it, we even have an option for racers to do the ride 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. Their 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.
Putting a Face on Cancer
It is hard to believe that a vision to keep the memory of our son Christopher Walker alive, while bringing awareness to the issues surrounding early detection and prevention of Colon Cancer and raising funds for the Giants Head Mountain Trails, could have turned into a weekend that has accomplished so much more. This May will be the 5th year we have brought together a community of participants, volunteers and locals for a weekend-long event that is of itself creating amazing memories and hope for a future that is colon cancer free.
Whether you have joined us each year since our first race in 2014 ago or are joining us for the first time, we certainly hope to see you this May Long Weekend in Summerland, BC...there is no time like the present to take on The Giant!