The Spartan Race was held last weekend in Kimberley. Corey Bullock Kimberley Bulletin file.

LETTER: Spartan Race

“Dear Residents of Kimberley and Staff of KAR,

Thank you very much for hosting Spartan for our Trifecta race weekend. We had three great days, with approximately 4,000 people participating at 7 different race distances. The feedback was very positive, both about the race and about the venue. This would not have been possible without the support of the community – as volunteers, suppliers, partners – and the incomparable cooperation of KAR.

As the race director for this event, I also owe these same people – the residents of Kimberley and staff of KAR – an apology. In doing our tear-down and clean-up we did not prioritize removing the garbage from our water stations Sunday evening, and this led to bears tearing apart the trash bags at one of these stations and scattering cups everywhere overnight. Someone posted a photo of the mess on Monday morning and by Monday evening it had gone somewhat viral with many people believing Spartan had already “skipped town” without cleaning up after ourselves. I am typing this midday Tuesday and can assure everyone that all 11 of our water stations have been completely removed and thoroughly cleaned up, with Spartan staff and KAR staff leaning in. Our intention is to “leave no trace” and, ideally, leave the mountain even cleaner than we found it. Our team is on site until Friday making sure this is so! We very much appreciate the concerns expressed, about bear safety, cleanliness and the environmental impact, and we take this very seriously

When producing an event of this scope – a 50km Ultra race, a 21km Beast, 14km Super, 5km Sprint and 3.2km, 1.6km and 800m Kids races – we arrive 10 days before the event to begin building approximately 50 obstacles, marking the trail, setting up the festival and aid stations, and reviewing all of our safety and operational protocols. The three back-to-back-to-back race days start as early as 4am for us and end as late as midnight, and then we start our 4 day tear-down and clean-up first thing Monday morning. I am very proud of the awesome work our team does and of the overall success of the weekend, but I can also certainly acknowledge when we drop the ball on something. So, again, I am sincerely sorry for the issues surrounding that delayed garbage removal.

If anyone sees anything else that could have been addressed differently, or has any suggestions for how we can produce an even better event in the future, please email me at johnnyw@spartanrace.ca. I very much welcome your feedback and look forward to future collaborations with Kimberley and KAR!

Thank you,

Johnny Waite

Spartan Race Canada RD

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