Great Lake Walk organizer, Joan Hieta, is hoping that the 11th Annual Great Lake Walk helps to regenerate awareness and renewed interest in this amazing 55.9 kilometre fundraising event.
“Numbers have been falling over the past couple of years, but we think we will do okay this year,” said Hieta.
The event is a simple one at its core; a 56 kilometre walk around Cowichan Lake, from Youbou to the Town of Lake Cowichan, with participants raising money for various charitable causes beforehand.
Like previous years, all finishers will also receive a print by local artist Michaela Davidson.
Everyone who crosses the finish line will also be eligible to receive a two night stay at the Honeymoon Bay Lodge and Retreat, valued at $1,000.
The package includes two nights for two people, three wellness treatments for each guest, including massages, facials, pedicures, manicures, and other, a fruit and cheese platter with champaign, and a three course dinner for two, with wine, both nights.
Or, participants could win a two night stay at Boutique Waterfront Lodge in Lake Cowichan.
Depending on room availability, the winner of this package will be able to choose from a patio suit or spa suit.
Rather than mess with something that works nicely as-is, the majority of this year’s event will be the same as previous years’.
Sign-in will be at the Youbou Community Hall on Friday, Sept. 14, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
There will be bus service beforehand, between 3 a.m. and 3:45 a.m., transporting participants from Lake Cowichan to the starting point at the Youbou Community Hall, Saturday. Post walk bus service will operate between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.
With the singing of “O’Canada”, participants are sent out in the dark of 5 a.m., arriving in Lake Cowichan between 9:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., when the closing ceremonies take place at Centennial Hall.
During the trip to Lake Cowichan, participants are assisted by volunteers at the 12 rest stops along the way (see Page 19).
It can be a difficult walk for some, but most participants finish the event.
Medical attention and relaxation will be awarded to participants at the finish line.
For the families of those coming into town who have time to kill time while their loved one takes part in the event, there are a few events going on at Cowichan Lake.
• Friday, Sept. 14, will see free bowling at Youbou Lanes from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
• Free family skating will take place at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena, Saturday, Sept. 15.
• Bar service will be available at the Lake Cowichan Curling Club, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 15.
More information is available at www.greatlakewalk.com.