Three local long distance cyclists are preparing for an overseas competition.

Jay Morrison, Erik Snucins and Wim Kok have all qualified to compete in the 17th Paris-Brest-Paris, taking place in France from August 21-25.

Morrison and Snucins both qualified to compete in the middle of June, when they both completed the 600 km Tour de Peace. Morrison finished with a time of 37 hours and 52 minutes, while Snucins finished with a time of 38 hours and 40 minutes.
Kok qualified two weeks later, finishing the 600 km North Thompson event in 34 hours and 18 minutes.

In order to qualify, athletes must complete four distances, 200, 300, 400 and 600 km this year, with a time limit of 13.5, 20, 27 and 40 hours respectively.

The 1,230 km marathon, held every 4 years, begins in Guyancourt, a Paris Suburb and cyclists will ride through tertiary roads and small villages to Brest in Brittany, located on the Atlantic Coast. Upon arriving, cyclists will then have to turn around and ride back to Paris.

Competitors are expected to be self sufficient during the competition and no support is allowed while en route. To reach Paris in the designated amount of time, riders will have to cycles day and night on only a few hours of sleep.

Snucins will begin the evening of Sunday, Aug. 21, while Kok and Morrison chose to begin the next day on Aug. 22.

This will be Kok’s third time competing in the event.

Riders’ progress can be followed on the event’s official website, by inserting their frame numbers: 5907 (Snucins), 8399 (Morrison) and 8572 (Kok).

This year, there will be 5,414 participants from around the world, with the biggest contingent coming from France and the United States. Canada has 101 cyclists participating, 40 from B.C. and three from Fort St. John.