Last year’s historic half marathoners started and ended their race at the Fort Langley National Historic Site, but this coming Sunday’s race has been forced to move by rain-related road closures. (Langley Advance Times files)

Mudslide forces move of Fort Langley’s Historic Half Marathon

The race will still take place, but will have a new route and a new start

A scramble to find a new route for the Fort Langley Historic Half Marathon started last Friday when organizers found out a mudslide and flooding had made the familiar old route impossible.

“You can’t control Mother Nature,” Noted race director Mitchell Hudson of TRY Events, the organizing group behind the annual February marathon, which raises money for the Langley Hospice Society.

With just over a week to go before the Feb. 16 event, Hudson got the call from Langley Township – flooding had damaged a section of 240th Street between Rawlison Crescent and 88th Avenue.

There had been a mudslide and the bank in the area was unstable, so runners weren’t going to be heading through there, Hudson heard.

That meant a frantic search for a new route, including a new start and end point.

The familiar spot, inside the Fort Langley National Historic Site, wouldn’t work, Hudson said, because routes have to be set up to avoid crossing the train tracks that run north of the village.

“I’ve had to spend days trying to save the race,” Hudson said.

The first challenge was finding a new route, which involved a lot of bike riding and driving around the community. He settled on the Fort to Fort Trail, but that meant starting at the Fort site wasn’t possible – the race route can’t cross any rail roads.

Instead, the race begins and ends this year in Bedford Plaza, at 23285 Billy Brown Road.

“This route, it’s gorgeous,” said Hudson. “It’s a blessing in disguise.”

The race, which includes a half marathon, 10 and 5 km routes, and a kid’s run, will be held on Sunday, Feb. 16. the runs start at 9 a.m. with the half marathoners leaving first, followed closely by the 10 km and 5 km runners. The course closes at noon sharp.

For more events, visit tryevents.ca and check out the page for the Fort Langley Historic Half Marathon.

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