On a sunny but crisp Sunday morning, runners and walkers got set, got ready and took off for the 36th annual Pope Peak’s Adventure Run.
On Oct. 18, participants young and old took part. Some even came from as far away as Smithers and Prince George.
It is quite an achievement if you are up for a challenging finish time but the run is well worth it as participants enjoy a glorious and breathtaking finish at the top of Mount Pope.
Organizer, Keith Gordon was hopeful for a good turnout and a good turnout it was.
“This is probably one of the best we’ve had if not the best,” Gordon said. “It was a fabulous day and we were so well supported by our local runners and walkers. And local women swept the top four positions for females,” Gordon said.
Nick Bartell from Prince George came in first place with a time of 1:53.13. The first female spot went to Lisa Spingle from Fort St. James with a finish time of 2:39.45.
Spingle, who is not a stranger to this run, was determined to beat last year’s time. As she laced up her runners, she eyed up a fellow participant. “I want to beat him,” she said. Spingle was up for a challenge.
“I love to run Mount Pope, Spingle said. “It really is so beautiful.”
The run began at Cottonwood Beach, onto Mount Pope Trail and then up to the top.
The run had three starting times: 22 walkers left at 8am, 14 runners at 9am, and 14 more runners at 10am allowing for all levels to finish in reasonable time. Whether in top marathon shape or just out for some exercise and a bit of social time, anyone was encouraged to partake.
The $10 participation fee covered the cost of a place mat for each participant. This included a collage for all who reached the summit as well as memorable moments.
Before each starting time, it was important that Gordon mentioned two influential people who provided great support in previous years. Both passed away just months after last year’s run.
Louise Burgart not only made cookies for all of the runners every year, but she regularly participated in the event and did so last year with her daughter Janna.
Peter Rodseth, a real outdoorsman, built and designed many trails and excavated much of Mount Pope by hand.
It was a time to remember and a time to bring another group together to celebrate a love of running.
“One former Fort gal Robyn Konig, carried her one year old daughter to the top,” Gordon said. “This now makes her the youngest participant,” he said.