The annual Lumpy’s Epic trail run has had its share of fast runners over the years, but nothing like the start of this year’s race.
Aaron Heidt, the winner of the Rubble Creek Classic, took off in a group that included last year’s winner Dave Burch and adventure racer Gary Robbins, Richard Potter, and David Higgins. Duncan Munro also stayed with the lead group for a while but fell back — he rode to the start line at One Mile Lake in Pemberton from Spring Creek on his road bike.
Heidt pulled away near the first viewpoint, where Burch overtook Robbins.
Heidt finished the technical 10 km course in under 40 minutes, 39:46. Burch was second in 42:02, followed by Potter in 44:50, Higgins in 45:09, and Munro in 45:17.
Heidt had never done the course before, and was surprised just how challenging it was.
“It was really technical, but it was awesome,” he said. “I started out with four other guys up the climb. Everybody said that the first climb was small, but it was a big climb. Everybody went out like the race was a 200-metre (run) for the first two kilometers, before dropping off.”
As well as a bag of potatoes for the first place runner, Heidt also won the overall title for the Under 40 age category in the Sea 2 Sky Trail Running Series with wins in the Rubble Creek Classic and the 80-km STORMY.
Next up for Heidt is the Halloween Half Marathon on the North Shore, and possibly the Haney to Harrison relay.
The top women were sisters Lindsay Burch and Kristin Johnson, who ran and finished together in 46:10, tied for sixth place. Mick Peatfield, Andre Coats and John Blok were eighth, ninth and 10 th respectively.
Burch, who was the top woman in the Rubble Creek Classic, was the top Under 40 female this year in the Sea 2 Sky series.
This was a record year for the Lumpy’s Epic with 58 participants. Heidt also set a record on the new, longer course — last year only three runners broke the 50 minute mark, compared to 10 runners this year.
All proceeds from this year’s race will go towards the Friendship Trail linking Pemberton and Mount Currie.