Maple Ridge resident wins first ever Meet Your Maker 

50-mile trail race attracts 50 solo runners and 22 relay teams

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOHN FRENCH - SORE WINNER Maple Ridge resident Mike Murphy had scratches and cuts down his right side as he crossed the Meet Your Maker finish line in first place.
  • photo by john french
  • SORE WINNER Maple Ridge resident Mike Murphy had scratches and cuts down his right side as he crossed the Meet Your Maker finish line in first place.

The race started at 6 a.m. on Sunday, and for event winner Mike Murphy, 41, it ended at just after 2:30 p.m.

Murphy's Meet Your Maker (MYM) finish time was eight hours and 31 minutes and 10 seconds. His closest competitor in the 50-mile race was Phil Villeneuve, who finished the race in a time of 8:35:56.

The inaugural MYM 50 mile trail run took event participants from Whistler Olympic Plaza up Blackcomb, across the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, down Whistler and throughout the Whistler valley to finish back where it all started.

Kathy McKay was the fastest female runner with a finish time of 9:52:26. She placed sixth overall and her closest competitor was Marieve Legrand, who ran the course in 10:52:54.

Mark Bennett and Chloe Gendron, both of Vancouver, rounded out the top three male and female placings.

The ultra-marathon and relay event was 86km long with an elevation gain over the full course distance of 3,600 metres.

A total of 50 solo competitors entered along with 22 teams. A total of 17 teams made it to the start line and 15 completed the race while 42 individuals started and 19 completed the entire race.

Murphy, a resident of Maple Ridge, said after the race that he was helped along by a quote he remembered from professional cyclist Jens Voigt who said when he was tired he would tell his legs and feet to shut up and keep going.

"Everyone out there today, you have big highs, big lows and you just need to keep going," said Murphy. "Luckily, I hit my lows at the right spots so that my highs were at the end."

The race was extremely close most of the time with the three top men taking turns leading and long sections where they were just seconds apart. As a result, the pace was brutal and the solo racers actually beat the top relay teams — something that rarely happens in ultra distances.

The fastest team of the day was a mixed team called Witness The Fitness and the overall team time was 9:04:09. A Helly Hansen team came second about 12 minutes behind the winning team while the third place team was anchored by Whistler's Duncan Munro. Munro was running for a three-member Salomon team that finished in 9:18:12.

Relay competitor Peter Watson did the first two legs of the course and he said he enjoyed the race route.

"Lots of climbing, lots of downhill, lots of technical trails," said Watson. "It's definitely the best that Whistler has to offer."

Organizer Chris Colpitts said the event is looking to grow and attract ultra marathon distance runners from around the world in future years.


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