BE FEARLESS 2024 UPDATE #2

Be Fearless 2024 is its 8th year. 8 years we have dedicated our lives and our communities support to this event.

Empowering, meaningful events take time, over years, to develop and implement. To create the trust and support from its community. The community that it takes to host an event. Events don't happen overnight.

Be Fearless started as an 11k and 21k route, but then we saw the incredible space for a trail marathon in our community. Our Be Fearless Marathon is the only marathon in Squamish, trail or road. Its a hefty feat to put together but its worth every bit! Over the years to see those of you sign up for this enduring distance and cross the finish line has been something words are hard to describe. Our entire event has been that way... for each and every one of you no matter the distance.

Since 2012, when RLAG was founded, we have been exploring and spending MANY hours of our time and lives in Squamish. We have seen the changes to the community over the years and the growing tourism population. We have first hand experienced the changes to BC Parks, in Squamish this is Alice Lake. It's a wonderful location for so many users to enjoy, the lake, campground and access to vast amount of trails for hiking, running and mountain biking are right there from the parking lot.

Photo: James Burris

This park generates an overwhelmingly large amount of visitors each year, due to its easy access and of course location to Squamish.

Also some of the reasons why we choose this location to host our Be Fearless event. Our RLAG community travels near and far, including internationally, to participate in our event. Our event is listed and supported on the Tourism Squamish website.

We understand the park is working hard to implement park rules that fairly apply to each event and due to this our most recent hurdle was us having to change our event date. Originally, for 7 years, we have hosted our event on the first weekend of June. Its an awesome weekend in training schedules, for weather, travel, and most importantly for the community and the other events that surround it. The lower mainland is home to many event series and we share our spaces and event dates respectively with those around us.

When Alice Lake stated no events are to happen in the park starting May long weekend through to September long weekend (unless on a week day in June), this forced us to pick a new date. Working with other events surrounding us we grabbed the open date of April 27.

This new date changes many aspects of the event. Weather, where it lands in training schedules and what other events surround it, accomodation options, trail conditions etc.

We are also faced with other restricting rules from the park such as we are not allowed to use any of the parking lots for our event. Large events (100 people or more) must supply off site parking.

This was implemented into our event last year as a last minute request from the park. It worked well with a shuttle service and off site parking. However service this comes with a large price tag.

2024 brings new additions to the requirements for events. One being that we must hire and provide a licensed security service to be on site to manage "the public" to ensure that patrons are following park rules etc. We have restrictions as to how many pop up tents we are allowed to set up, how many sponsor banners we are allowed to display etc.

This brings us to a tricky position. With many new additional expenses and a new event date that changed the dynamic of this event for our community, our participation numbers are much less the previously which we fully understand and have compassion for.

Leading us to make the decisions below:

As of today, February 5, 2024 we have had to make the difficult decision to limit our event to 99 participants. 

With all of the new park rules being large expenses there is a minimum number of participants we need to reach in order to make hosting our event feasible. We feel at this time, with event preparations and how April is approaching we are unable to reach that number.

The "large event" rules apply to 100 people or more (or an event using exclusive space of the park) so with 99 participants the park has made a parking acception giving us the allowance of using 50 participant & volunteer parking stalls in the Alice Lake South Beach Parking Lot. We must CARPOOL! If we breach any of these new rules our event is subject to shut down. 

In addition to the limit of 99 participants, we have also had to make the difficult decision to change our Marathon Route. With only 13 people registered for this distance currently we are also unable to obtain the additional 4 permits required for our original marathon route. Instead our 2024 marathon route will consist of 2 laps of the 21km route. 

We are disappointed all around. But we also feel that at this time for us to continue to provide the best possible experience, given the circumstances, this is the right choice for our community.

We are going to have an amazing finish line with our same amazing volunteers and the best day out there on the trails!!

We are proud of our Be Fearless event. We are proud of what it offers and the experience it provides to the entire community. We are proud that we have always and will continue to create, host and provide an amazing, impactful, purposeful and empowering events. We continue to stand by this amazing event and those who have supported it over the years.

We may adjust our event for 2025, perhaps we can find a new date that helps everyone join us again. Or we re adjust for April again, giving our community more time to plan for this date.

Don't forget our event is a fundraiser and supporter of the Canadian Mental Health's STEPS Program located in North Vancouver. The STEPS Program helps youth struggling with mental health with outdoor experiences and educational opportunities. $5.00 from every registration is donated to this program. They also host our Aid Station Number 5 on course as one of their outdoor group experiences. Since we are only hosting 99 participants this is going to greatly affect our donation total. Last year our donation was CAD$2997.78 and each year we look to surpass the previous. If you are able to please CLICK HERE to donate directly to the STEPS Youth Program. 

One other VERY IMPORTANT aspect to our event, and many other events, that we feel the Park is missing, is that our event is not and does not create an exclusive space in the park. We are very inclusive and the wonderful part of the experience is the park users who surround the finish line and cheer for runners! People who came to the park for a walk that day see a finish line, they see colourful banners they see people with sweaty faces and rosy cheeks, they see people completing a goal and they CHEER! For some patrons this is the first time they encounter a running event or trail running event... their minds are blown by the hard work, the challenge, the distance and they are then introduced to the possibility of... a new idea. Maybe they want to try something new.

This is what the events are about. This is not an exclusive experience, they are inclusive to all.

Photo: James Burris

HOW CAN YOU CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THIS EVENT?! - You can register and participate as a virtual runner. 

VIRTUAL RUNNER REGISTRATION

If you have any questions or concerns you can reach us at info@runlikeagirl.ca

Thank you all so much for your continuous support as we strive to make positive impacts in our communities.

Thank you: Volunteers and best friends, Nesters Market - Squamish, Capra Running Store, F2C Nutrition, Panago Pizza - Squamish, Tim Hortons - Squamish, Kintec, Mt. Waddingtons - Chilliwack. Terra Breads - Vancouver, Shred Shuttle - Squamish, RLM Accounting, Tammy Rose Real Estate, SORCA, Tourism Squamish.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE 2024 WAITLIST
DONATE TO STEPS PROGRAM

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