Pass defends Rubble Creek Run title 

Like the Cheakamus Challenge, the Rubble Creek Classic trail run also celebrated its 21 st anniversary this past weekend with a field of 50 runners – not a huge field, but a record for the event as race organizers have purposely kept it small.

The course starts at the Cheakamus Lake parking lot, follows the trail to Cheakamus Lake for about a kilometre before crossing the river and heading up the Helm Creek Trail and around Black Tusk before crossing Taylor Meadows and the Cinder Flats. From there, runners pass under Garibaldi Lake before beginning the long descent down the Rubble Creek Trail to the Garibaldi parking lot, just south of Brandywine. Altogether the race is about 24.8 km, with a vertical gain of 1,000 metres and a descent of 1,300 metres.

Scott Pass won this event for the second year in a row with a time of two hours, 13 minutes and 30 seconds. Andrew Clarke, who raced in the Cheakamus Challenge the day before, kept Pass on his toes for the first part of the race.

"I think I had to drop him about four times before he stayed dropped, he’s just an amazing athlete," said Pass. Although he hasn’t competed much this season, preferring to go for long hikes and runs at a more moderate pace, Pass was definitely trying to win this event.

"It’s just a great race," he said. "It’s definitely one of my favourite trails because the scenery is just beautiful, and the weather was perfect.

"It’s a low-key event, but it’s a lot of fun as well, and there are always quite a few competitive runners in there that make it interesting."

Pass kept looking over his shoulder as he pounded down the last hill to the finish, but didn’t see Clarke again. Clarke himself faded slightly, allowing ultra runner Lisa Polizzi to get ahead on the downhill to finish second overall in 2:17:10.

Polizzi, a competitive marathon racer, was the top woman in the Comfortably Numb Trail Run, the 64 km STORMY trail run, the Knee Knacker, the Whistler Five Peaks, and just about every other major off-road running event held this season. Her second place in the Rubble Creek Classic put her on top of the Sea to Sky Trail Running Series.

Clarke finished third with a time of 2:17:47.

Lindsay Dyck was the second woman across the line, finishing fourth overall in 2:19:17. Ritch Rawling was the third male, and fifth person across the line, with a time of 2:21:47. Arial Haltz was the third woman, 10 th overall, in 2:31:35.

Grace Blok won the overall series title in the Women’s Over 50 group after finishing first in her category in the Comfortably Numb and Rubble Creek Run.

Her husband John Blok, who also raced in the Cheakamus Challenge the previous day, ran with her to get a matching time of 2:52:30.

The other runner to compete in both weekend events was Duncan Munro, who had respectable results in both events. He was 13 th overall in the Rubble Creek Run.

Andrew Clarke was 26 th overall in the Cheakamus Challenge, while Blok was 73 rd and Munro was 136 th .

According to organizer James Retty, this year’s race was probably the best yet.

"It was excellent, everyone really enjoyed the run, and our sweep found only one piece of garbage on the whole course, so it was good to see people taking care of the trails as well," he said.

Retty expects the event to grow now that the word is getting out, and will likely set a cap on the number of entries accepted in the future to keep the event small and manageable.

Complete results will be available online at www.s2srun.com.

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