Cumberland athletes excel at annual adventure race

The Atmosphere Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race (MOMAR) returned to Cumberland Sept. 23 for its 18th season. Six hundred racers participated in the off-road multisport race, gathering on the shores of Comox Lake early Saturday morning to take on either the 50km Enduro Course or 30km Sport Course.

“From the Friday night street party to the Saturday night post-race party, it was another amazing weekend,” says race director Bryan Tasaka. “Not only did the weather cooperate, we were, once again, fortunate to have an enthusiastic and dedicated group of sponsors, volunteers and racers.”

The race started with a paddle on Comox Lake, followed by a trek through the bluffs above the lake. Upon arriving at the Coal Creek Historic Park, teams were given an orienteering map in order to find nine checkpoints. Racers transitioned to their bikes at Village Park, riding the trails behind Cumberland, over Nikkei Mountain, then down through the Eastern Block towards the finish line. The bike course included a challenging hike-a-bike, a signature of a MOMAR race course.

Members of team Out of the Riv — Graham Cocksedge and Lucien Ervington of Powell River, Stefan Jakobssen of Lantzville and Nygil Goggins of Cumberland — were the overall race winners for the 50km Enduro Course, crossing the finish line at 5:01:04. Cumberland’s Carl Tessman placed second overall, with a time of 5:09:02. Squamish’s Ben Kwiatowski and Thomas Hardy were a close third, coming in at 5:14:04.

Roanne English of Cumberland was the first solo female racer to cross the finish line, with a time of 6:09:38. Nanaimo’s Norm Thibault and Wendy Simms placed first team of two, coed category, coming in at 5:18:34. The first place team of two, female, included Leah Balin of Cumberland and Wendy Raval of Campbell River (6:28:09).

North Vancouver’s team Honeybadgers (Dan Wong, Rochelle Stokes, Kyle Sauve and Ben Macinnis) placed first in the team of four, coed category, in 5:42:07. Teams Buns on the Run took the top spot in the team of two, female category, with a time of 7:39:59. Members included Langley’s Kerri Phillips, Jannea Ewasiuk and Cheryl Hutton, plus Marnie Sankey of Kelowna.

Victoria’s Justin Wolfe and Graham Frost were the overall winners of the 30km Sport Course, with a time of 3:43:49. Kailee Mar and Jesse Baltutis, also from Victoria, were the first to cross the finish line in the team of two, coed category (4:00:21). Comox’s Debbie Wright and Bree Armstrong placed first in the team of two, female category, in 4:05:37.

Through various fundraising initiatives, MOMAR supports the Cumberland Community Forest Society, Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue, and the United Riders of Cumberland.

The MOMAR series has staged 38 races in B.C. over 18 race seasons.

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