Tuesday • August 1, 2017
Fernie, BC hosted its first Elk Valley Ultra & Relay 50km this weekend on the 29th July 2017.
The race was announced in fall 2016 by the organisers, Stag Leap Running Co., and quickly filled all spaces within the following months. Registrations came from across Canada, and states along the north west of United States.
A total of 126 solo runners combined with 32 relay teams gathered for the race start at Annex Park during the early hours of Saturday. With temperatures still fairly mild, racers got away promptly at 6am.
The 50km course of primarily singletrack dirt started at town level before trailing up a steep ascent to the iconic Mount Fernie Ridge, and beyond to the high alpine at Windy Pass. Connecting onto Heiko's Trail, racers descended the loose rock on a very technical Tamarack Trail towards Island Lake Lodge, where the first leg concluded shortly after on the Old Growth Trail.
Temperatures by the late morning began to soar past the low 30s. The tree cover gave little respite going into the second leg as runners took on the next big climb up a dusty Project 9 trail, and across the Stupid Traverse before a tricky downhill run down S-Bomb. The final leg weaved through the Provincial Park followed by a final climb and ascent of Stove trail to Mushroom Head. By this stage, runners would had climbed approximately 2,800m of elevation, before coming down the final descent to town via Red Sonja.
First to cross the finish line was Ron Ellis with a time of 5hrs 57min 45sec winning the Men's Solo Catagory. Becky Bates took the Women's Solo crown with a time of 6hrs 59min 36sec.
Full results can be found on the Webscorer.com