More than 500 racers will be participating in the Cumberland Atmosphere Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race (MOMAR) on Saturday, Sept. 20, making it the largest adventure race in North America.
About 20 per cent of the racers reside in the Comox Valley, with 80 per cent coming from all over B.C. and as far away as Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Idaho, California and Costa Rica.
“Every year we see increasing numbers of racers from outside the Valley,” says race director Bryan Tasaka. “It has become a destination race and we’re super excited about that. We’ve also got a super strong core of local racers that come back year after year, who have become part our MOMAR family.”
Fifty-eight year old Margeurite Masson and 59-year-old Stan Wood are two such racers. Wood and Masson were first inspired to do a MOMAR after volunteering many years ago. “It fit with our outdoor interests and feels like a big treasure hunt to us,” says Wood.
The teammates have made the podium more than once in their category, but the goal of racing for them is to keep fit and have fun. “We like to be fit and [the MOMAR] gives us something towards the end of the summer that can gauge how well we are doing from year to year,” says Wood.
“Our worst mistake was two seasons ago near the end of the race,” recounts Wood. “We missed a check point on the mountain biking portion heading down Crafty Butcher and crossing Railroad where there was very clearly a checkpoint and we just blew right by it, totally focused on getting to the next one at Seeds grocery store in Cumberland. We decided that it was too much hill to go back up so we took the penalty and missed the podium by one placing. This is about pure fun so it really didn’t bother us.”
Although the MOMAR is a race, the sense of unity between racers and teams runs high. “There is a sense of camaraderie amongst participants and you can be sure that if something goes really sideways, someone will lend a hand,” states Wood.
The public are invited to the finish line at the Cumberland Village Park and cheer on the participants as they complete the race. Food trucks will also be at the finish line including Yummies Greek Food, Wannawaffle and Riders Pizza.
The MOMAR has partnered with the Cumberland Community Forest Society who will be running various fundraising campaigns throughout the weekend.
The MOMAR is an off road multi-sport sprint adventure race that requires teams to mountain bike, kayak, trail run, trek, and orienteer through a series of checkpoints over scenic and rugged west coast terrain. The series has staged 35 races in British Columbia, Canada over 15 race seasons.
– Mind Over Mountain Adventure Racing