For six years Kevin Titus helped to organize the Comfortably Numb Trail Run. Now the race is under new management, Titus was able to race the course for the first time since 2004. While he hasn't been running or racing recently, there's no question he put a lot of younger runners through the paces.
He finished the roughly 25 km trail run in 1:58:41, averaging over 12.6 km/h from start to finish. He was the only runner to break two hours, and in addition to placing first overall he was also first in the Male 50 to 59 category by about 37 minutes.
"It was good," he said. "I wasn't sure what to expect because I only found out I was going in a few weeks beforehand and didn't get a whole lot of training."
Titus started out the race running with Seamus Frew and another runner, but about 20 minutes in he broke away. Frew reeled him in at the half and took the lead for awhile.
"We ran together for about 25 minutes, and then he sprained his ankle and went over," said Titus. "He couldn't keep up the pace anymore, but he still did really well and was only behind a couple of minutes in the end."
Titus is well-known in trail running circles, having set the overall record in the Knee Knackering North Shore Trail Run in 2003 - a record that stood for six years until Aaron Heidt (who holds the current record on Comfortably Numb, Rubble Creek Class and other local mountain runs) broke it in 2009. Titus still holds the Masters' record on the Knee Knacker.
Frew finished second overall in 2:00:46 and first in the Male 30 to 39 group.
Christian Faruga Karlden was third overall and first in the Male 20 to 29 race. Rounding out the top five were Ryan Ervin in 2:08:30 (second in Male 30 to 39) and Ted Lawson in 2:08:49 (first in Male 40 to 49).
The first female racer to the line was Nicole Akeroyd in 2:28:08, wining the Female 20 to 29 category in the process. Second to the line was Darbykai Standrick in 2:28:11, second in Female 20 to 29. Sharon Armstrong was 20th overall and third among women in 2:32:47, as well as first in Female 30 to 39.
Also in the top five were Hannah Garcia in 2:33:46 (second in Female 30 to 39) and Shawna Connaughton (third in Female 20 to 29) in 2:36:42.
Although course conditions were perfect, neither record was in jeopardy. The men's course record of 1:49:50, set by Aaron Heidt in 2008, remained intact, as did the women's record of 2:05:25, set by Kristina Rody in 2004 the very first year.
The race was long and technical, but the reward was a sunny finish. A few runners did double the distance by running to the start and back and there was a finish line proposal before participants headed to the Brewhouse for the awards.
A total of 129 runners completed the race, although registration was over 140 in the week before. The race is capped at 150 participants.
This year the event was organized by the Run the North Shore series, and proceeds from the run will go towards Whistler Search and Rescue and the Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association to maintain the trail.
For complete results, visit www.runthenorthshore.com.
Men 19 and Under
1. Eric Stears - 2:37:30
Men 20 to 29
1. Christian Faruga Karlden - 2:04:06
2. Garrett Grove - 2:27:50
3. Chris Kennedy - 2:22:18
Women 20 to 29
1. Nicole Akeroyd - 2:28:08
2. Darbykai Standrick - 2:28:11
3. Shawna Connaughton - 2:36:42
Men 30 to 39
1. Seamus Frew - 2:00:46
2. Ryan Ervin - 2:08:30
3. Tom Rushton - 2:16:07
Women 30 to 39
1. Sharon Armstrong - 2:32:47
2. Hannah Garcia - 2:33:46
3. Birgitte Marthinsen - 2:37:06
Men 40 to 49
1. Ted Lawson - 2:08:49
2. Duncan Coo - 2:18:16
3. Volker Schneider - 2:21:27
Women 40 to 49
1. Lizanne Bussieres - 2:38:11
2. Colleen Little - 2:39:45
3. Suzanne Wilson - 2:47:55
Men 50 to 59
1. Kevin Titus - 1:58:41
2. Barry McClure - 2:35:49
3. Tom Nykyforuk - 2:51:25
Women 50 to 59
1. Vicki Romanin - 3:21:40
2. Janet Green - 3:34:40
3. Janet Mackintosh - 5:17:54