Annual rally in Athabasca, Alberta, a success

Snowmobilers from north and central Alberta were eager to ride and support the Athabasca River Runners

by Kirsten Armleder

Riders had fun cruising along the trails. Joel Watson photo

Snow levels were down but spirits were high at the Athabasca River Runners’ annual snowmobile rally on February 20, 2016.

The rally, which began at the Forfar Community Hall west of Athabasca, saw over 200 riders in attendance. From the hall, they could choose to ride a 70-kilometre loop or an 85-kilometre route.

The trails were prepped for the event, and according to the club’s communications coordinator, Lynn Olson, they held up well considering the lack of snow Athabasca has received this year. Compared to other areas of Alberta, however, conditions were looking good.

“Everyone that we talked to were happy with the trails and just excited to get out and ride as many areas of Alberta do not have enough snow to ride this year,” said Olson.

Whitecourt and Barrhead, for example, had such dismal conditions in February that both the Whitecourt Trailblazers and the Northern Lights Snowmobile Club had to cancel their rallies.

There were checkpoints along the way where riders could stop and socialize. photo courtesy Lynn Olson

Olson was pleased to see so many out of towners at the River Runners snowmobile rally. Some had travelled as far as Sundre, Lloydminster and Fort McMurray.

“We would like to extend a huge thank-you to everyone who came out to support our club . . . ,” said Olson. We would also like to thank all the sponsors and especially our dedicated group of volunteers who work hard to put on a great really every year.”

With the help of local businesses, the River Runners were able to give away more than $2,500 worth of prizes at the snowmobile rally.

Adding to the success of the rally was the fact that the club got the word out early. With that in mind, club members have already set the date for next year’s rally: February 25, 2017. 

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