Is there any snow in the alpine of Garibaldi Provincial Park this year?
“That’s a good question, I haven’t been up there yet,” says race director Andre Munck, who is organizing the 24 th annual Rubble Creek Classic trail run. “There may be a little. Still, it’s looking now like it may not be too bad a day. The long range forecast was for rain and eight degrees in the valley. It’s now looking much better, but it’s still pretty cold at eight in the morning when they start running.”
This weekend’s race starts at the Cheakamus Lake trailhead and follows the trail until the Helm Creek turnoff. From there it’s a tough, technical climb into the alpine, and almost 1,000 vertical metres are gained by the halfway point. Runners round the cinder flats behind Black Tusk, then meet up with the Rubble Creek Trail and a long 10 km descent of over 1,300 metres, past Garibaldi Lake to the parking lot off Highway 99. It’s considered one of the most spectacular runs in province, and is limited to just 80 participants to avoid wear and tear on park trails.
Aaron Heidt of Squamish will defend his title on the 26 km course, which he finished last year in 2:05:39. His goal was to break two hours, but snow and a rain crust in the alpine made for slower going than usual through the alpine.
Local mountaineer Bryce Leigh is also entered for the 22 nd time. He only missed two of the runs in the event’s history, the first event and one event where he was sidelined with a broken leg.
Overall the race is divided, with 45 men and 35 women taking part. Munck is also allowing some racers to start early.
“Most people know generally how long it’s going to take them to finish the race, and this way we can get to the awards a little faster and get everyone off the trail a little earlier,” he said. “People can still run at their own pace, but this way people get to finish closer together instead of anywhere from two hours to five hours after the start.”
The Rubble Creek Classic is also the second-to-last event in the Sea 2 Sky Trail Running Series, which wraps up with the Lumpy’s Epic run in Pemberton on Oct. 19.