Multisport adventure race reaches 20th year

The Atmosphere Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race (MOMAR) returns to Cumberland Saturday, Sept. 28 for its 20th anniversary season.

For 20 years, Bryan Tasaka and his Mind Over Mountain crew have been bringing adventure to the active community on Vancouver Island.

“While other events have come and gone, MOMAR remains a staple on the calendar, and a focus point for anyone that loves trail running, mountain biking and might occasionally kayak,” said Norm Thibault, co-owner of Frontrunners Nanaimo. “The MOMAR Cumberland is an annual homecoming for active people and a true weekend event rather than just a one day race. We love that Frontrunners has been a part of this event since year one, and we’ll continue to support it for as long as it’s around.”

The MOMAR is an off-road multisport sprint adventure race. Participants navigate their way to a series of checkpoints within an eight-hour limit. The disciplines include mountain biking, paddling, orienteering and trail running over scenic and rugged west coast terrain.

The MOMAR series has staged 40 races in B.C. over 19 race seasons. The first race took place in Duncan in 2000. The race has been held in other locations over the years including Lake Cowichan, Ladysmith, Sechelt, Shawnigan Lake, Ucluelet, Squamish and Burnaby, finally settling in Cumberland — a mountain biking mecca rich in community ties and outdoor adventure opportunities.

“We’ve come a long way since the early days of the MOMAR,” said Tasaka, the race director. “The first race in the Comox Valley took place on Mount Washington in 2001 with only 40 racers.”

There are over 700 racers registered for this year’s event, including two former Olympic rowers, a couple celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary, parent-child duos, and a new mom recovering from two brain surgeries.

“We build the races but the racers show up and really make it what it is — a one day adventure full of extraordinary stories,” Tasaka said. “For our 20th anniversary, we are celebrating the racers’ stories—their challenges, perseverance, and accomplishments.”

Racers will be heading to Cumberland from all over B.C., from the Yukon, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Washington State, California, Georgia, Kentucky, Idaho, Arizona and Great Britain.

The public is invited to Cumberland Village Park to cheer on the racers as they cross the finish line.

Organizers are still looking for volunteers for race day. The MOMAR will be donating $5 to both the Cumberland Community Forest Society and the Comox Valley Search and Rescue for every registered volunteer. Volunteers will also receive a ticket for the legendary after-party at Mount Washington.

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