By Andrew Mitchell
According to one race organizer, the fastest teams in the Haney to Harrison 100 km relay didn’t see any rain on Saturday, always staying two steps ahead of a storm that turned roads into rivers along the race route.
The race consisted of 274 relay teams of eight people, although more than two dozen athletes did the entire course on their own. One of those athletes was Whistler’s Duncan Munro, who placed second overall in the Under 40 ultra category with a time of 11 hours, 37 minutes and 39 seconds.
Munro was ranked second after stage two of the race and held onto that position for the next three legs.
“At about the 50- to 60-K mark things started to go south,” he said. “I couldn’t get any food into me, and then I started having some stomach problems. I dropped from second and over the next few legs fell pretty much off the charts.”
Wet and cold, Munro threw up twice and had a difficult time consuming the energy he needed to keep up his pace. He still managed to keep jogging along at a slower pace, but the race conditions and his physical problems at last took their toll on the difficult seventh leg of the race.
“My muscles basically went into spasms after the last downhill on leg seven, the 11 per cent decline into the valley just destroyed my legs. That’s when things really started happening and I couldn’t even walk.”
But walk he did, finishing the last 12 km at a limping pace. It took him more than two hours and 20 minutes to get through the last stage, just 8.03 km, to the finish line.
Despite the hardship, Munro is happy with his race and is already planning his next ultra run.
“It was awesome, absolutely awesome,” he said. “I had such a good time out there. The last 10-K was a unique experience, definitely hard on my psyche, but I enjoyed the whole race — even getting soaked by trucks going by. Not everybody needs to run a 100-K though.”
Munro had people walk beside him for most of the last stage of the race, and he appreciated the support. If he had been showing any signs of mental stress or a decline in mental awareness he would have been pulled out by race organizers, but he talked and joked with everyone who came by to wish him well.
“I had to stay positive,” he said. “I was mentally there and I was going to finish no matter what. I have to thank people like (Scott Whelan), Tiffany (Whelan), Kevin Titus, John and Grace Blok, and everyone who encouraged me. It was a little embarrassing having the ambulance shadow me, but I knew I was going to do it.”