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Comfortably Numb Trail Race returns to Whistler in 2021

Usually happening in June, the race was rescheduled to October due to COVID-19 restrictions
Nicholas Lightbody (centre), Michael Murdoch (left) and Vincent Roseberry finished first, second and third, respectively, in last week’s Comfortably Numb Trail Race.

Saturday, Oct. 2, marked the return of Whistler’s Comfortably Numb Trail Race after COVID-19 cancelled the event in 2020.

The race, which first began in 2004, is a 25-kilometre run along the Comfortably Numb trail starting at Wedge and finishing at Spruce Grove.

“It’s an iconic trail, it’s got a lot of history in Whistler for sure. It’s one of the first major cross-country, mountain-bike routes and it probably runs a bit better than it rides,” said co-race director Kristian Manietta. “It has beautiful views in it, it’s challenging, it’s up and down but you’re in the green room for so long and it’s just a great trail, and aside from that, it’s just great to be able to have races again.”

According to co-race director Dale Tiessen, approximately 70 people ran this year’s race despite many more registering for it.

“More people had signed up and maybe got scared off by the weather because there had been a lot of rain that week,” he said. “But the weather on the day was really good. The course was a little wet and muddy in spots but the actual weather on the day had blue sky at times, it really didn’t rain at all, it was a nice moderate temperature so people were running in T-shirts and shorts.”

Nicholas Lightbody finished first among the men, with a time of 2:12:08. Michael Murdoch and Vincent Roseberry followed close behind with times of 2:17:18 and 2:18:12, respectively.

On the women’s side, Danielle O’Neill came in first with a time of 2:40:33, with Sarah Korpach and Mercedes Vince finishing second and third with times of 2:41:50 and 2:43:07, respectively.

Next year, Tiessen and Manietta hope to bring the race back to its usual time slot in mid-June.