Once again, Bob Schultz did his magic and came through conjuring a set of 11 magnificent hand-made medallions for podium finishers made from carefully selected native hardwood maple. The unique wedges are reminiscent of those used by early handloggers and these particular items have become highly coveted race medallions by participants in the annual Handloggers Half Marathon Trail Race which circumnavigates Mount Gardner.
Standing on the podium this year were women’s winners Stephany Barry-Benedik (first place) Parksville; Cheris McLaren (runner up) North Vancouver; and Mathilde Silvert (third) of Surrey. The men’s race was won by Simon Widman of Surrey with a new course record time of 1 hour 47 minutes on a slightly longer course, runner up was Patrick Baylis of Vancouver, and David Vavrik (third) of Campbell River.
The Masters division was won by James Elder of Toronto and Mayumi Motouchi from Vancouver. The relay was won by the “Team 2315” consisting of locals Jeb Gutelius (Leg 1), Clive Butler (Leg 2) and Margaret Butler (Leg 3).
Full race results can be found on the Handloggers website here.
This year’s event was a record success with more than 160 participants, but also due to the amazing support provided by a large cast of volunteers and sponsors. Steve Edwards deserves special mention for helping with race planning, advance preparation and donating the use of his truck.
Also instrumental in pre-race planning were Leah Gregg, Vanessa Ramirez-Jasso, Zarah Hofer, Kim Ridgewell and Amanda Ockoloen. A big thanks to Zarah Hofer and Margaret Butler for their help marking the course this year and to Bryan Baker for procurement of aid station supplies.
The on-course support this year was also second to none, including road crossing marshals Matt Zdril and Peter King, Aid Station hosts Jane Osborne, Bryan and Krista Baker, Greg Jonson and Margarita Hofer, on-course way finding was provided by Angela Redish, Sophie Idsinga, Leah Gregg, Angela Vyner, Ted Benson, Brenda Louie, Prue Lawrence, and Lisa Holleman.
The First Aid team included Lisa Brougham, Jo Quarry, and Greg Jonson. Alicia Hoppenrath pitched in to sweep the course and help maintain a safe event with all runners accounted for.
Time keeping, registration check-in, and start/ finish set up and take down was tirelessly supported by Karla Everitt, Zarah Hofer, Kim Ridgewell and Mike McKoryk, Lindsay Carson and Oliver Roy-Jauvin, Hilary Butler, Joan Vyner, Lisa Holleman, Sophie Idsinga, Andy Hoppenrath, Leah Gregg, and Vanessa Ramirez-Jasso. Jeff Kellner also performed some just in time magic to get our generators up and running in the final hours before the race.
Our sponsors were again extremely generous in both their time and support for the race. Karla Everitt and Arc’teryx provided an abundance of finish line prizes and enthusiastic support during the race; Kintec once again supported us with vouchers for winners, an event tent and finish line arch.
Jane Osborne from Downunder Travel provided Tailwind energy drink and Honey Stingers for the Aid Stations and worked tirelessly and single-handedly at Aid Station one and the Finish Line food tents throughout the race, Ross McCorquodale (Edward Jones) donated funds to support finish line and aid station supplies. Cocoa West came through with 190 hand-made chocolate bars for finishers and volunteers. Bowen Island Fire Department supplied tents, tables, chairs, and coolers.
Handloggers Half Marathon Association will donate net race proceeds to support Bowen Island Trail Society in achieving their commitment to maintain a well-integrated and interconnected trail network for non-motorized trail users on our beautiful island.