The Handloggers Half Marathon Trail Race on September 5 put a buzz in the air for the 65+ runners and supporters of the event’s official debut here on Bowen Island.
A beautiful day of sunshine made for perfect conditions on the trails and a glorious finish along the causeway in the cove with mountain and ocean views. After running 21km and nearly 3,500 vertical feet, the finishing times spanned from 1:47 to four hours. A challenging but remarkable route showcased the best of Bowen Island’s trails, mountain views, bluffs, single track, and a few burly creek beds too!
This year’s event would not have been possible without the collaboration between Phil Osborne, Alison Osborne and Alicia Hoppenrath. The success of the event was a true testament of their collective efforts. In addition to the foundational team of event planning, it was the volunteers who brought it all together on the day. From road marshals, aid station hosts, time keeping, registration, food prep, set up and take down, and of course the private property owners that enabled us to create the route we did….
Thank you to Reidun Van Kervel, Diana Romer, Janis and Colleen Treleaven, Jerry and Sue Hurn, Jane Osborne, Julie Van de Valk, Nicole Winstone, Kathleen O’Connor, Jenny Harris, Angela and Basil Huxham, Jess and Scott Slater.
Thank you to all the participants who challenged themselves and thank you also to our sponsors: Downunder Travel, Lambert Intellectual Property Law, Community Safety Net, Cocoa West, Bowen Island Massage Therapy, McTaggart Water and Bowen Island Coffee for generous donations.
The funds raised from this year’s event went towards the construction of a new classroom block at Akili Preparatory School, an all-girls school in Obunga slum in Kisumu, Kenya. Next year the run plans to fundraise for both global and local community initiatives to reflect the interest of the organizing team of thinking globally but acting locally.
Alicia Hoppenrath and Colin Kerr, both born and raised on Bowen Island, have had a dream of creating an epic trail running event for a long time. Their goal of giving back to the community, promoting and further establishing the network of trails, as well as developing a larger recreational scene on the island, is what they would love to see happen.
This year the event brought the majority of its racers from off island, from as far away as Alberta and Massachusetts which just goes to show the potential of Handloggers Half becoming a recognized race in the series of trail running on the lower mainland. Bowen is a beautiful accessible destination for an event like this, and organizers were so pleased to see such great success.
The top three winners are:
Men: Ryan Johnson (1:47:24), Greg Curtiss (1:52:03), Colin Kerr (1:53:24)
Women: Margaret Butler (2:10:57), Sarah Stark (2:15:49) and Jessica Slater (2:21:12).