Three-plus hours after kicking off at Mount Washington, members of the Biblio Taco team rang the bell at Comox Marina to win the 2018 Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race on April 29.
The annual multi-sport relay event saw 116 teams of four-to-nine people ski, bike, kayak, cycle, and canoe their way across 72 kilometres of the Comox Valley on Sunday. The race started in the morning at Mount Washington, with teams finishing in the early afternoon at the Comox Marina.
Biblio Taco won the Open Mens category with a lung-bursting time of 3:16.09. The team ousted last years champion — the Ski & Surf Shop Tsunami, who came second this year — by about six minutes.
The Strathcona Park Lodge team rounded out the podium with a time of 3:36.15, good for first place in the Masters Men category.
“We took the long course and went right around, but when you have a lead, you don’t want to take a chance with a shortcut and get hung out,” said Biblio Taco’s lead canoeist Bill Brett, shortly after ringing the bell to win the race.
Alongside Brett, members of the Biblio Taco team included Stephen Lamon, Ryan Mader, Carl Tessman, Scott Commandeur, Carter Woods, Eric Rush, Don Gilmore, and Graham Cocksedge. Biblio Taco owner Greg MacDonald put the team together.
“Great bunch of guys. A couple guys came back out of the woodwork for us and made a big difference,” said Brett, who previously raced for the Island Honda Bonzai team — a perennial favourite of the competition.
Race director Rick Gibson said this year’s race was as good as ever. With 116 teams participating, he said the event has shown growth recently following a few years of low participation due to poor weather.
“We had a competitive [top three] as usual, but the best thing about this event is all the people who are middle-of-the-packers, the races within the race, where the people in 50th are just trying to beat the people in 49th place,” he said.
The race concluded with a party at the Comox Marina on Sunday, with multiple food trucks and a beer garden on site.
The annual race began in the Comox Valley in 1982 and is in its 36th year.
Gibson cited the event’s 100-plus volunteers as the backbone of its continued success.
“The great thing about this event is we get the same volunteers that come back year after year and it’s truly a Comox Valley event,” he said.
To see the full results, visit snowtosurf.com