A group of trail running aficionados from Comox recently travelled to Whistler to take on the 25km Comfortably Numb Trail Race put on by North Shore Athletics and sponsored by Red Bull and North Face.
“It was not held last year due to the Olympics so it was great to see it back on the race calendar this year,” said one of the runners. It is a 25km point to point trail race over rocks and roots climbing uphill to enjoy fantastic views of the mountains. Comfortably Numb is no walk in the park – from the moment you start it is an uphill climb for the first six kilometres.
The race started at 9 a.m. after runners were shuttled by bus 11.6 km north of Whistler Village to Wedgemount Lake. One hour and 58 minutes later the first runner, Kevin Titus, crossed the finish line with the first woman, Nicole Akeroyd, finishing in 2 hours 28 minutes.
There was one aid station on the course to provide runners a chance to replentish their water, and Whistler Search and Rescue provided trail sweeps to make sure everyone made it through the course safely. Runners experienced patchy snow in the higher elevations, under sunny blue skies with epic mountain views. The course is actually a classic mountain bike trail so it’s mostly single track with bridge crossing and logs to navigate over.
The race wrapped up at the Brewhouse in Whistler Village with free pizza and draw prizes. Local runners used this race as training for their big events this summer. Mary Bridges, training for the Death Race in Alberta in July, finished 48th overall in 2 hours 50 minutes and was 4th in 40-49 females. Robyn Dicesare, training for the Trans Rockies Race in Colorado in August, finished 75th overall in 3:10 and was 11th in 40-49 females.
Cathy Livesy, who’s also training for the Trans Rockies Race, finshed 85th overall in 3:19 minutes and placed 15th in 40-49 females. Veronique Dion, who’s training for the Victoria Marathon in October, placed 87th overall in 3:21 minutes and was 16th in 30-39 females.
Janet Green, who’s training for the KneeKnacker in July, placed 106th overall in 3:34 minutes and was 2nd in the females 50-59. Audrey Erlandson, who’s training for Ironman in August, placed 94th overall in 3:25 minutes and was 16th in females 40-49.
“If you like a challenge be sure to put this one on your calendar for next year. They will be adding a mountain bike race the day before followed by the trail running race,” the runner said.
For other trail races in the mountains check out www.runthenorthshore.com.