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Fifth annual Comfortably Numb Run to take place Sunday

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There is still lots of time to register for the fifth annual Comfortably Numb Trail Run, which takes place Sunday, June 22. Advance registration is available on the website, www.comfortablynumb.ca until midnight on Friday, June 20, at the package pickup at Escape Route on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and at the start of the race from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at Wedgemont Parking Lot — shuttle buses are available from the finish at Spruce Grove at 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. if you need a ride. The cost is $50 plus a service fee for people registering online, which includes the race, draw prizes, a water bottle and a technical running cap.

If you’ve never hiked, run, or biked Comfortably Numb, it’s an internationally recognized mountain bike trail that weighs in at about 25 km with about 800 metres of climbing. It starts at Wedgemont and finishes in Lost Lake Park.

Two years ago the International Mountain Bicycling Association recognized Whistler’s Comfortably Numb trail with its highest honour, official Epic Ride status — one of only three trails in B.C. and seven in Canada to earn that honour.

Designed and built by Chris Markle over more than five years, it’s the longest and most demanding singletrack ride in Whistler, but that only scratches the surface of its appeal. The views are spectacular, whether you’re passing by one of the lookout points or tramping through the old growth forest.

There is a lot of climbing from start to finish, but all the worst climbs are concentrated in a few areas. The descent is also rocky and moderately technical, but even the steepest downhill sections are broken up by traverses and terrain features that make the way down interesting.

Coming out of the trail, runners will follow a selection of Lost Lake gravel trails to the finish line.

Runners should be self-supported with food and water, although there is a water station just past the halfway point. All of the water has to be carried up to that point by volunteers. Marshals and first aid volunteers will also be spaced out along the trail.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three men and women in the Under 40, 40-49 and 50-Plus age categories.

Last year Vancouver’s Adam Campbell set a new course record of one hour, 58 minutes and 45 seconds, while the women’s record set by Kristina Rody in the first year of 2:05:25 still stands.

Proceeds from the race go to the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association to maintain the trail. Over $2,000 has been donated from the last two races.

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