The annual Squamish Test of Metal mountain bike race, at 67 kilometres, has long been considered one of the most rugged and exhausting long distance bike rides on the continent. You can imagine how it feels on foot.
Last year saw the inaugural STORMY Squamish Ultra Trail Run on the Test of Metal course STORMY standing for Squamish Test of Running Metal Yeah!. Organizer Paul Cubbon kept it small and a total of 23 runners turned out to take the test.
For this years test, on Aug. 9, the number of runners increased to 58, largely through word of mouth.
This year, 55-year-old Jim Swadling of North Vancouver, showed the rest of the competitors how its done with his unbelievable time of 5 hours and 30 minutes in the 50 to 59 age group. In the first two hours, he made it from Powerhouse Bridge up 9 Mile Road, and completed Lava Flow, The Rip and the Plunge.
David Keen of Vancouver won the mens under 40 race in 5:46, finishing second overall. In third place, running in the 40 to 49 group, was Ean Jackson of North Vancouver.
The top woman, Wendy Montgomery of North Vancouver, set a womens course record in 6:12 racing in the womens under 40 division. The top woman, aged 40 to 49 was Sheila Boyd of Vancouver in 7:55. Gail Bazeley of Port Coquitlam ran alone in the womens 50 to 59 category, finishing in 7:33. Mae Palm, a veteran ultra runner, ran alone in the 60 and over category, finishing in 7:48. This was her second year in the STORMY.
The top Squamish local was Tom OBrennan in 6:18, and the top local woman was Margaret Paxton in 6:22. Squamishs Scott Paxton became the first person to ride and run the Test of Metal course in the same year.
From Whistler, Walter Wallgram posted the top time. He finished 14 th overall, and seventh out of 16 entries in the mens 40 to 49 race with a time of 6:35.
Michelle Kaminski ran for the second year in a row, posting a time of 6:49 to finish 20 th overall and third in the womens under 40 division. Louise McCorquodale was a close fourth in that division, and 22 nd overall with her time of 6:54.
Stephanie Rochon was 30 th overall and sixth in the womens under 40 group with her time of 7:03.
Runners came from the mid-western U.S., Ontario, Kelowna, Victoria and throughout the Lower Mainland.
After the race, athletes and volunteers adjourned to the Howe Sound Brew Pub, a sponsor and supporter of the ultra running event.
For more information on the run, or complete results for 2002, visit ww.cubbon.ca/stormy/.