By Andrew Mitchell
A record field of runners will be at the start line for the 2007 Comfortably Numb Trail Run Sunday, June 24, and the event is likely to sell out all 200 spots with race day registration.
This is the fourth year for the run, which follows the Comfortably Numb bike trail from its starting place in Wedgemont Parking lot to the end in Lost Lake Park, finishing at Spruce Grove Field House. The distance is approximately 25 km, with almost 23 km taking place on technical singletrack. The estimated vertical gain and loss is more than 800 metres from start to finish, with the trail trending mostly upwards until the long descent once known as Foreplay.
“There are about 10 trees down on course from the winter and about a week and a half ago one section was underwater, but everything should be cleared out by Sunday,” said David Higgins, one of the organizers of the race.
Chris Markle, who built the trail, is doing some work this week to get the trail ready for the race.
The proceeds from the race, including $1,000 from last year and likely another $1,000 this year, will go towards maintaining the trail. Organizers have also donated time to help with the maintenance.
Registration is still available online until midnight on Friday, June 22 at www.comfortablynumb.ca. There will also be a chance to sign-in at the start line from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. The cost is $50 to register, plus a $4 fee for registering online.
If you have pre-registered, package pick-up is available from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Escape Route in Whistler Marketplace, or from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at the start. All runners will also have to sign in at the start line before the run gets underway at 9 a.m.
There will be complimentary buses on race day from the finish at Spruce Grove Field House at 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. There is no bus back to the start, and drivers will have to make their own arrangements to pick up their cars.
There will be one aid station at the halfway point on the trail, and all runners are advised to carry food and water with them on the course and prepare for the weather.
Proper trail running shoes are also recommended as the course has sharp rocks through some sections and the trail may be slippery. According to forecasts Tuesday there is about a 30 per cent chance of rain on Sunday.
There will be prizes for the top three men and women in Under 40, 40 to 49 and 50 and Over age categories, and all participants are eligible to win draw prizes donated by sponsors. The awards ceremony takes place at 9 a.m.
The fastest times will be just over two hours, and average times around the three-hour mark.