The Atmosphere Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race (MOMAR) took place in the Comox Valley on Saturday, Sept. 21. Comox Valley was once again well-represented, both on the course and the podium.
The overall sentiment is that the race was one of the toughest in MOMAR history.
“Many teams didn’t make cut-off times throughout the course and were forced to skip checkpoints in order to make the 5 p.m. final cut-off,” says race director Bryan Tasaka. “I think it was an eye-opener for some teams, but that’s what an adventure race is all about – every adventure is different. This race had a lot more elevation gain than in past years.”
The overall winners of the 50km Enduro Course were Justin Mark and Jeff Reimer of Nanaimo, with a time of 5:04:00. Revelstoke’s Bart Jarmula was a very close second, coming in at 5:05:09. Courtenay’s Brad Crowe placed third overall, crossing the finish line at 5:24:13.
Sarah Seads of Courtenay claimed her 10th overall win in the solo female category with a time of 6:12:49. Seads enjoyed this year’s longer, more technical course.
“I absolutely loved the course this year – it was one of my favourites,” says Seads. “It included new and challenging terrain both on foot and on the bike, as well as many more choices for route selection which makes navigation way more fun.
“There were quite a few spots where it was hard to decide which route would be the quickest from A to B, and I got some of them right and some of them wrong,” Seads said. “There were also some great bushwhacking shortcut opportunities which I enjoy and took full advantage of.”
Courtenay’s Kathy Campbell and Lynn Swift placed first in the team of two – female category, coming in at 7:35:25. Cumberland’s Curtis Saunders placed second overall in the team of two – male category, along with teammate Tim Musselman of Penticton, at 5:55:39. Marguerite Masson and Stanley Wood, both from Courtenay, placed third in the team of two – co-ed category, with a time of 6:53:48.
The Enduro Course started with a 10km paddle on Comox Lake, followed by an 11km trek from the Cumberland Lake Campground, up the mountain then back down to downtown Cumberland. From there, teams began a 12km mountain bike ascent, gaining 500m in elevation.
Once at the top, racers changed back into their running shoes for another trail run, searching for four more checkpoints. The final stage was a downhill mountain bike ride to town. The course ended in downtown Cumberland, bringing a great energy to the finish line.
“The downtown finish line was a great idea and brought out plenty of cheering friends and family to watch the show,” says Seads.
The Sport Course included all the same elements, just 20km shorter.
Cumberland’s Bruce Provan and Courtenay’s Derek Tripp took first place overall in the 30km Sport Course with a time of 3:50:34. Although this was Tripp’s first MOMAR, they managed to come out on top. They attribute their success to staying on course. “I heard that the MOMAR legend Todd Nowack said one key to success is ‘don’t get lost’, so we didn’t,” says Tripp. “And that was really the key.”
Like most racers, their favourite part was riding the world-class mountain biking trails, with the toughest part being the elevation gain.
“Being on the water with so many other kayakers was quite an experience, but by far my favourite part was riding down the mountain bike trails, especially Thirsty Beaver,” recalls Provan. “The toughest parts for me were the initial steep climb from the lake to the top of Scrub trail and, much later and exhausted, getting to the highest checkpoint which overlooks Trent Canyon. The view from there was amazing but unfortunately I didn’t have time to hang around to fully appreciate it.”
The second place overall winners for the 30km Sport Course were Julian White of Comox and Dave Stubbs of Courtenay, coming in at 3:52:10. Victoria’s Stefan Hill and Kirk McCrae came in third at 3:55:43.
Comox Valley racers swept the female category for the Sport Course. Courtenay’s Britt Hanson, along with teammate Sanna Wedman of Black Creek, placed first with a time of 4:07:22. Kiyoko Marton and Debbie Wright of Comox placed second, coming in at 4:29:59. Deborah Adams of Comox, along with Courtenay’s Sheahan Wilson, came in third at 4:42:34.
Danielle and Bern Farrant of Comox grabbed second place in the Sport Course co-ed category, crossing the finish line at 4:02:12.
For more information on the MOMAR series, visit www.mindovermountain.com.
– Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race