Kelowna’s Knox Mountain Hill Climb sees one of its busiest events in a decade | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna’s Knox Mountain Hill Climb sees one of its busiest events in a decade

Brent Thorkelson stands with his 2007 GT3 Porsche as part of the Knox Mountain Hill Climb, Saturday, May 21, 2022.

Driven by the desire to attend events following the easement of pandemic restrictions, thousands flocked to one of North America’s oldest hill climbs Saturday in Kelowna.

The Knox Mountain Hill Climb was last held in 2019 and was shut down afterwards due to COVID-19. Each year, drivers gather in an attempt to beat their own and others records of who can climb the hill the fastest.

For eight years, Vancouver Island driver Brent Thorkelson took children affected by cancer up the hill in his 2007 GT3 Porsche as part of his Hands Together for a Cure fundraiser but this year he decided to race as a participant.

“We always wanted to give the kids the best ride possible… we had eight years of great runs with great kids so we should just stop while we’re ahead,” he said, adding there was some safety concerns.

“It’s a huge responsibility taking kids up the hill.”

Thorkelson grew up in Kelowna and is is still driving his Porsche.

“For me, as well as my brother, it’s never been being first, second or third, it’s about personal best,” he said.

He recommends new drivers to start with an inexpensive car to hone your craft and to listen to other drivers on the hill.

“That’s probably one of the best things about the Knox Mountain Hill Climb, is the people that attend it,” he said.

The Knox Mountain Hill Climb, May 21,2022.
The Knox Mountain Hill Climb, May 21,2022.

Event organizer Bryan Sulton said it’s one of the largest crowds they’ve seen in a decade with 60 drivers and more than 2,000 attendees that showed up to watch, May 21.

“I think there’s been a pent up demand for people to get out,” he said. “I feel good because we put 365 days worth of effort into organizing it and the reward we get out of it is seeing people having a good time and the money we raise for charity.”

It’s the oldest running hill climb in Canada and one of the oldest running paved hill climbs in North America, he said. The event wraps up tomorrow, May 22.


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