With the stroke of an axe, the 2018 Handloggers Half Marathon mountain trail race was off and running.
It was a beautiful Sept. 1 morning as 28 women, 58 men and six relays teams of three people each lined up at the start line on the government dock, more people than ever before.
Unfortunately, Aaron Anupol of Mississauga, ON missed the 8 a.m. ferry from Horseshoe Bay. He started his race an hour behind the other runners but still managed to run the 30 km of Bowen trails, including the full length of the gnarly Handloggers Half Marathon Course, to finish just behind the last of the official racers.
The field of runners was dominated by a strong, world-class contingent of men, led by Colin Kerr (1:40:37) of Bowen Island, Ryan Johnson (1:43:13) from Seattle, and Charles Perrot-Minot (1:43:53) of Vancouver. Tony Lambert of Edmonton led the men’s masters division in a time of 2:08:34 finishing alongside Emily Osborne (2:08:54) of Bowen Island took the first place hatchet for the women. Second place in the open women’s category went to Nicki Seaborn (2:13:39) of Vancouver, followed by Anna Giesting (2:22:48) of Wayzata, Minnesota. Cheryl Hooge (2:52:56) of Bowen Island was the top master’s woman runner.
The relay first prize went to the “Fast Girls” (2:16:53) team of Camille Richardson (Eugene Oregon), Lisa Brougham (Bowen Island) and Caroline Lambert (Edmonton.)
This year the race benefited from trail improvements implemented by the Bowen Trails Coalition. The improvements included a new bridge at the start of a new section of Handloggers Trail and improved sections in the Grafton Lake lands. This made the course a bit longer than previous routes and closer to the full 21 km half-marathon length.
Proceeds from the race will support trail improvements on Crown land. The course, which circuits Killarney Lake and Mount Gardner, has some very challenging sections with technical climbs and descents and includes a net ascent of more than 900 m over approximately 21 km.
The success and growth of the race is attributed to a dedicated group of “all-star” volunteers who worked in the months, weeks, and days leading up to and following the race. The race directors thank: Bev Attfield, Jill Walker, Elliot Rushton, Jane Osborne, Emily Osborne, Ali Osborne, Colin Kerr, Kim McMullen, Jenny Harris, Jessica and Scott Slater, Susanne Herrington, Julia Tweten, Steve Frazer, Pam and Roger Brownsey, Bruce Steele and the Emergency Communications Team, Alex Jurgensen, Aedan Staddon, Qurban Singh Khalsa, Brenda Louie, Hilary Butler, Debbie Benson, Tony Lambert, Sue and Jerry Hurn, Kim Howden, Mary McDonagh and Andy Hoppenrath. Two of our volunteers, Alex and Aedan, are visually impaired; these two travelled all through the night by public transport from Surrey to arrive on Bowen Island in time to support the entire race as marshals. We are so grateful to these incredible young men and the entire volunteer team for their extraordinary dedication.
The race is supported by generous contributions from a large number of sponsors including: Downunder Travel, Lambert Intellectual Property Law, Kintec Footwear & Orthotics, Coral Louie (trophies), Positively Fit, Bowen Island Massage Therapy, Artisan Eats, Cocoa West, McTaggart’s Water, Ruddy Potato, Bowen Island Roasting Company, Village Baker, and Fit Fox Training. We are most grateful for each and every donation to the event.
For more information and to register for next year please visit Handloggershalf.com.