The 8th Annual Giants Head Grind Race will take place as both a virtual and on-location race between May 1st and May 31st, 2021. During those dates registered participants and can take part in one of two race options.
For those that can be in Summerland you can take the regular Giants Head Grind route starting at Peach Orchard Park on the shore of Okanagan Lake, and race 6.6+ kilometers from ‘beach-to-peak’ with an elevation gain of 500 meters, finishing at the top of Giants Head Mountain. For those unable to be in Summerland you can choose to do any 10 km route in your location. There will be two separate timing and award streams, one for those climbing the Giant and one for those that take on their own 10 km route.
With the assistance of Race Roster, you will be able to log your times.
Our virtual awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 5th, 2021.
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. The 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.
In 2013, Rotarian Roch Fortin brought the idea of organizing a race up Summerland’s Giants Head Mountain to Ellen and 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 honoring the memory of Chris in a way that would have made him proud.
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.
"It is hard to believe that our desire to keep the memory of our son Christopher Walker alive, by bringing awareness to early detection and prevention of Colon Cancer and raising funds for the Giants Head Mountain Trails, has become so much more. Since 2014, we have brought together a growing community of participants, volunteers, and local residents for a weekend-long event full of amazing memories and a hope for a future that is colon cancer-free."
And now due to Covid-19, we have found ways to continue this event in a slightly different manner. Cancer does not take a pause during a pandemic and neither will we.
Whether you have joined us each year or are considering participating in your first race, we hope to see you taking part either in this altered version of the Giants Head Grind whether in Summerland or in your own location anytime during the month of May 2021. After all, there really is no time like the present to ramp up our fight against Colon Cancer and Conquer the Giant!
The Walker-Matthews Family, Rotary Club of Summerland, and the City of Summerland hope you will join us for the Annual Giants Head Grind – Christopher Walker Memorial Race.
A recent article in the Penticton Western News