Long before there were Vibram soles and shoes built for trail-running there was the Rubble Creek Classic, which turns 25 on Sunday, Sept. 27.
This run is widely hailed as one of the most scenic anywhere, as runners emerge from the Helm Creek Trail into the high alpine and cinder flats surrounding Black Tusk. From there they follow a trail around the peak and onto Panorama Ridge before dropping into the Taylor Meadows and the long run downhill on the Rubble Creek Trail to the finish line.
The high point of the route is close to 6,000 feet in elevation with 3,150 feet gained from the start line at the Cheakamus Lake parking lot, but the payoff is the view of Garibaldi Lake and surrounding peaks, as well as the knowledge that the trail descends more than 10 km and 4,000 feet to the finish.
"What I find about the Rubble Creek run is that the scenery is so spectacular that you forget you're running at times," said Jayson Faulkner of The Escape Route, the sponsor of the event. "There's always a debate on whether the climb or the descent hurts more the next day, but the view is the signature of the event without question. At the finish people aren't talking about their feet hurting, it's all about the view."
The race is capped at 80 runners at the request of B.C. Parks. Registration is available at both The Escape Route and the website at www.rubblecreekclassic.com.
The race starts at 8 a.m., although there will once again be a soft start for slower runners at 7:15 a.m.
Adam Campbell, the winner of the Comfortably Numb Trail Run in June, is expected to take part this year, as well as 2007 winner Aaron Heidt - Campbell's partner in the six-stage TransRockies Run in late August. They placed third out of 47 teams in the Open Men category of the race.
But for Faulkner one of the most exciting things about the race is the growing number of new and non-competitive runners that step up every year.
"The motto for this year's race is 'it doesn't have to be fun to be fun,'" he said. "I think we're going to have quite a few novice runners out this year, and I'm quite excited about that. It seems to be a real interest for more people every year, who are getting into trail running and that feel ready to try some longer distances. For us the coolest thing is to see those people come out and challenge themselves."