One of the biggest additions to Crankworx this year was the expanded programming for children and families, from just one day during the 2013 festival to all 10 days this year. The most popular event was the B-Line race with 95 children attending, followed by the Kidsworx Fat Tire Crit with 80 riders between the ages of two and 13. The Kidsworx Pumptrack Challenge also had over 100 kids riding the same course as the adult athletes, and there was also a special invitational Air DH for 10 to12 year olds, where the winner, Ethan Shandro, was offered the opportunity to be the forerunner for the pro category.
“The families and kids were stoked,” said Carly Janz, the Kidsworx and Familyworx coordinator for Crankworx. “We got a lot more numbers than we anticipated, it was a huge hit. There were so many smiling faces, it was so great to see kids having an awesome time riding their bikes and being able to ride the same course as their heroes.”
While the Kidwsworx events were mostly competition based, the Familyworx events focused on participation for both kids and their parents. The Westin Resort & Spa, the Fairmont Chateau and Four Seasons all hosted a variety of events from scavenger hunts to run bike fun races for toddlers. A wooden pumptrack - designed specifically for kids - was also erected temporarily on the patio outside the Westin for the duration of Crankworx.
“We absolutely love it,” said Jana Ouchterlony from Pemberton, who had two children participating in the Kidsworx Pumptrtack Challenge.“Our kids live here and play here on a regular basis and we’re super grateful for Carly and (the rest of the organizers) for putting on these races. The kids are stoked to be racing with older kids and to be up there with their peers and mentors too.”
The expanded kids program received funding from RMOW’s Festivals, Events and Animation program as an initiative to keep families engaged during the 10-day festival. The family-friendly programming is expected to make a return next year.