Run The North Shore is out, 5 Peaks is in. As of this Tuesday, five days out from the eighth edition of the Comfortably Numb Trail Run, 5 Peaks is in charge of the 25km trail run.
According to race director Chris Colpitts, the goal for the 2012 run is to be a good host for the 82 runners that have signed up (and additional runners expected to sign up on race day), and to build on it for 2013.
The decision of Run the North Shore to pull out, "opened up a great opportunity for us," said Colpitts. "As you know, we are also hosting the 50-mile Meet Your Maker ultra and relay on September 2 and Comfortably Numb is part of the course."
Colpitts, who hails from Whistler, said they will promote the Comfortably Numb run in the future as a training event for their ultra and relay, as well as build it up their own way.
There's no question that 5 Peaks is a good brand for trail runners, with over 400 runners taking part in the events in Whistler every year. They held an event in Squamish for the first time on June 9, and brought out close to 400 runners for that event.
"I think we've got a good repertoire of events now with the 5 Peaks brand being national, the Meet Your Maker this year, and the Yeti snowshoe running series," said Colpitts.
Colpitts said they were making a multi-year commitment to both Comfortably Numb and Meet Your Maker. So far 30 ultra runners have signed on to do the 50-mile/80km-course solo, as well as a few teams of two and three. You can have up to seven team members however, with the longest leg being Comfortably Numb at 25km.
The Comfortably Numb Trail Run dates back to 2004 and was organized locally until the organizers pulled back after 2009. The Run the North Shore series resurrected the run for 2011, and this Sunday, June 24 it will be run by 5 Peaks.
Registration is still available online for $65, going up to $75 on the day of the event at the start line.
The run starts at Wedgemount at 9 a.m. and finishes at Spruce Grove Park in Whistler. Almost all of the course, aside from a gravel section at the beginning and trails in Lost Lake at the finish, is on technical mountain bike singletrack, with a total vertical gain of around 1,200 metres.