Grocery duo captures Crud 2 Mud division 

Llewelyn, Courchesne narrowly top open men on competitive day of racing

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON - friendly competition Austin Llewellyn and Denis Courchesne (middle) edged out Max Peiffer and Finn Iles (right) and Stefan Koch and Louis Maddiford (left) in the open men's division of Crud 2 Mud on May 23.
  • Photo by Dan Falloon
  • friendly competition Austin Llewellyn and Denis Courchesne (middle) edged out Max Peiffer and Finn Iles (right) and Stefan Koch and Louis Maddiford (left) in the open men's division of Crud 2 Mud on May 23.

If you love your employees, let them go.

Well, for a couple hours at least.

Austin Llewellyn and Denis Courchesne benefitted from the old mantra on Saturday, May 23.

The two Nesters Market employees were allowed to leave their posts at the grocery store for a spell on Saturday to take part in the annual Crud 2 Mud race. And as the pair made the most of their time away, edging out their pals Finn Iles and Max Peiffer by 1.011 seconds for the open men's title. There was a little extra incentive for the duo to quickly complete the course — after all, they had to finish their shifts afterward.

"We were in a hurry because we had to work after this. We were on a split shift," Courchesne said at the awards ceremony later in the afternoon with all commitments completed. "We worked in the morning, then went for the race, then went back to work."

Both started work at 6 a.m., left at 9:30 a.m. to race and were back on duty around noon.

They were grateful for the opportunity to race and Llewellyn, in particular, is close with Iles and Peiffer. There was some friendly competition between the two teams and the pair was happy to come out on top of the podium when all was said and done.

"It was sweet," the duo said in unison at the Garibaldi Lift Co.

"We knew it was going to be really tight so getting out of it and on top, it was really nice," Courchesne added.

With some precipitation combined with infamously low snow conditions over the course of the winter, the race lived up to its moniker with Llewellyn noting there was certainly plenty of crud, in addition to a strong field with which to contend.

In the ski portion, Llewellyn established just a quarter-second advantage over Peiffer while Courchesne added 2.5 seconds of cushion over Iles.

"It was super competitive — the most competitive it's ever been," Llewellyn said. "The course this year was more suited to the biker, I guess. Not very much snow."

As a ski racer growing up, Llewellyn said he was used to handling challenging conditions.

Courchesne, meanwhile, concentrated on putting together an effort that handled the terrain and got the job done.

"I was just trying to keep it steady all around those corners, not sliding," Courchesne, a 10-year biking veteran, said.

Other team winners included Penny Lane and Rob Lane (open mixed) and Claire Ryan and Kristy Coghill (open female).

On the individual level, Paul Stevens and Michael Jobson overcame large fields to emerge as the male 19 to 39 ski and snowboard champions, respectively. As for the women's side in that age group, Keren Wareham was crowned snowboard champ and Jill Anderson took the ski title. Other winners were Kolt Hoyle (junior ski 13-18), Adam Julian (snowboard male 40+) and Robin Courcelles (ski male 40+).

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