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Third time lucky for Burch

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For Whistler’s Dave Burch, the finish line on Saturday’s Lumpy’s Epic trail run in Pemberton was a welcome sight. Two years ago he was leading the run, then made a wrong turn close to the finish that left him well off of the podium.

Last year he was in second place after the Signal Hill singletrack section, and made a different wrong turn after losing sight of the first place finisher to again finish off the podium.

“It was funny, in the newspaper article last week it said there was a different course this year and (race organizer) Arlene Schieven told me ‘we did that for you,’” said Burch. “I thanked her afterwards for marking the course a lot better.

“I was pumped to win. One of my goals after last year was to win this race.”

Burch said his goal was to start with the lead group and follow some of the top runners, but everyone was holding back. He took off and opened up a huge gap, and by the time he reached the steep switchback section he was alone.

“I kept turning around looking for people and wondering if I went the right way,” said Burch, who almost slowed down to make sure he was on the course.

“When I got to the top of the climb and into the section with the lookout I just tried to keep the flow going, be efficient and try to make up a little time on each little corner. By the time I got to the bottom and that long flat stretch it was a little nerve-wracking, I kept expecting someone to catch up with me.”

Burch is best known locally for his mountain biking, and surprised himself two weeks ago when he won his category in his first ever B.C. Cup cyclocross race on a borrowed bike.

This weekend he will either race another cyclocross or the Bill Landry Memorial Loonar Enduro mountain bike race in Squamish, and the following weekend he’s considering the Hallow’s Eve Trail Marathon and Half Marathon on the North Shore.

“I really want to do some more trail running,” he said. “Running on the road just kills mentally and physically, but trail running is more like being in a zone. You have to be looking ahead and picking your line, and whether you’re going up or down you need to have a good flow going. You have to be pretty light on your feet, and efficient — you can’t take large steps or power up everything.”

Burch’s time on the course was 42 minutes and 14 seconds, over three minutes faster than Roger Shirt of Squamish, who finished in 45:21. Mt. Currie’s Sean Wolfe placed third in 45:25.

Kristina Rody was the top woman, placing fourth overall in 50:14, followed by Arlene Schieven in 51:20. Catherine Aird was third in 57:16.

Lumpy’s Epic, in it’s 10 th year, also wrapped up the Sea 2 Sky Trail Running Series, which included six trail running events.

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