On Saturday, Oct. 27, Soames Hill and the surrounding trails were decked out with ghosts and skeletons while blind mice scurried, Hulk Hogan barrelled and fairies in tutus danced through the trails at the Soames Grinder, the first endurance race of its kind on the Coast.
The event was organized by Team Wolverine Athletics, which has organized eight trail running events in 2018. Runners had six hours to complete as many loops of Soames Hill as possible. The 1.7-kilometre loop started and finished at the parking lot at the end of Esperanza Road outside of Gibsons and included a summit of the knoll, 250 metres above sea level.
Twenty-four participants ran a total of 293 loops in six hours.
At the front was a neck-and-neck race between local runners Nick Duff of Sechelt and Jordan Maynard of Gibsons, with Duff taking the win by one loop for a total of 28 loops, or more than 40 kilometres with an elevation gain of 3,000 metres. Karin Cummings of Powell River was the first-place woman, running 17 loops.
Winners received a $160 shoe voucher donated by sponsor Kintec Footwear in North Vancouver. Georgee Low of Vancouver and Joseph McLean of Powell River received $50 vouchers from Kintec for best costume.
A big thank you to the volunteers who helped make this race smooth sailing as well as the sponsors who make these events possible: IGA Gibsons, IGA Wilson Creek, PaceSetter Athletics, Kintec Footwear, Tailwind Nutrition, Orange Mud, Beachcomber Coffee, Endurance Tap, The 101 Brewhouse + Distillery, Nine O’Clock Gun Company and Lorna Jane Activewear.
Organizers also want to thank the neighbours on Esperanza Road and the public visiting the park on Saturday for embracing the race and runners.
And thank you to the Sunshine Coast Regional District, who have supported events and requests this year, for making these events possible and getting runners out on the trails.