The 32nd annual Pope’s Peak Adventure Run was completed by eight runners to resounding praise.
After the 22 km run, racers gathered together in Timberman’s Restaurant for a bite to eat and the buzz was all positive.
Racers from Prince George who came out said they thought the race was well-run, a great trail and a bargain to boot.
The bonus of climbing a mountain while doing a run gave the race a real edge, and the view made the slow climb worth the hard work, said the runners.
Once they reached the top, a warm fire was waiting to take the edge off, home-made cookies were on hand to fuel up, and warm iced-tea was being served by race veteran Peter Rodseth, who ran the route 31 years ago for the second annual Pope’s Peak race.
Rodseth kept the fire burning and handed runners steaming cups of sweet tea and directed them towards the tasty cookies.
There were eight runners in the race, four of whom came from Prince George, and four of whom were Fort St. James locals.
The race winner Shar Jackson of Prince George was the fastest female ever to run the race in its 32-year history, Jackson ran the mountain race in two hours, nine minutes and four seconds.
It was also only the second time in the race’s history it was won by a female runner.
Second place was a tight battle, with Brent Macquire, also of Prince George, pulling ahead in the final half to take second in two hours, 15 minutes.
Craig Houghton was the first Fort St. James runner to make it back, clocking in at two hours, 22 minutes and 46 seconds for the third place overall.
Houghton has run the race many times over the years, and first ran it in 1985 when he was only 13 years old, finishing it that year in two hours and 17 minutes, only five minutes faster than his time 26 years later. He has run the race about fifteen times over the years, he estimates.
“Quite honestly, it gets easier,” said Houghton. who runs the route about once a week when he can, just for fun.
Dennis Balogh and Chris Cupp of Prince George were fourth and fifth, respectively, and sixth place went to Rue Smith, of Fort St. James.
Second-place female runner was Erica Olesiuk, in two hours and 36 minutes, and third-place female runner was Michelle Morris, in two hours, 52 minutes. Both women are from Fort St. James.
It was a beautiful day for a hike or a run, and those who chose to walk also all came away with smiles. Two friends who left later than the main group even stopped in at Timberman’s to ensure they paid their fees to race organizer Keith Gordon before returning back to each of their homes in Vanderhoof and Prince George.
To view the photo album of shots from the race, check out The Courier‘s facebook page: The Courier on Facebook.