Over 400 runners took part in the first 5 Peaks Trail Running Series event held in Squamish this past weekend, with two course options for athletes — a 6.9km Sport course and an 11km Enduro course.
The run was based out of Alice Lake Provincial Park, taking place on a series of trails including the Four Lakes trail, Mike's Loop, Credit Line, Jack's, Kiki and Crouching Squirrel Hidden Monkey. The Sport course included about 140 metres of vertical and the Enduro course 350 metres.
Squamish's Jason Loutitt, one week after placing second in the Whistler Half Marathon, placed first overall in the Enduro with a time of 48:47 as well as first in the Male 30 to 39 race. For Loutitt, the race was only part of his day — he ran to the start line from his home near downtown Squamish and then ran home afterwards. He is currently preparing for the 100-Mile Ultra Trail Mont Blanc run, one of the toughest ultra runs in Europe, and is starting to ramp up for the race with some longer training runs.
The 5 Peaks run was more competitive than he expected.
"I was surprised with the battle actually," he said. "A guy took off ahead of me and there were a couple of guys behind me after the start, and then a guy I was leading passed me and I had nothing to do but let him go because I couldn't go any faster at that point. I slowly caught up, and when I tried to pass he kicked hard and stayed right beside me, but in the end I pulled away from him and got ahead. Once we were in the technical terrain I really dug in and pulled ahead of him.
"I like that (competition), especially when it's a little more technical."
Since January, Loutitt has been battling an issue with calf, which could go right to his lower back if it's related to the nerve. However, he's been feeling better even if it's not 100 per cent yet.
"I've been dong a lot of yoga and building up my training, and the real high mileage stuff hasn't started yet," he said. "I can still feel it, but I'm getting great support. I have a massage therapist who sponsors me and gives me a few free massages, and it's a lot better than it was."
Loutitt will be back in action yet again this weekend, his third event in as many weeks, tackling the running leg in the three-stage Red Bull Divide and Conquer Race in the North Shore. The race also includes a mountain bike leg and a whitewater kayak section.
Vancouver's Nathan Detroit-Barre placed second overall and second in Male 30 to 39, almost two minutes back of Loutitt in 50:37. Third place overall and first in Male 20 to 29 went to Michel Stewart in 51:04.