Runners tackle Comfortably Numb in two hours 

Strong turnout for inaugural 25K trail run

One of the top three runners in the Comfortably Numb trail run had never run more than 12 kilometres before, and had only competed in a handful of competitive races.

Another was a race veteran who helped pace said newcomer on the last leg.

The third was Whistler’s own Kristina Rody, a professional marathoner who was running her first competitive trail race.

All told the inaugural race attracted a field of 95 runners and rave reviews about the course and the level of support along the way.

"We didn’t know what to expect. A month ago we only had about 30 people signed up," said Kevin Titus, one of the organizers of the event.

"The feedback so far has been really positive. I’m enjoying the way people are smiling when they get to the finish. Of course they could have been smiling because they don’t have to run any more."

Titus, a strong trail runner who holds the course record in the Knee Knackering North Shore Trail Run, said he knew he would want to run the course himself instead of acting as a marshall, so he ran the course the day before to get it out of his system.

"Every time I run that route I’m just amazed by how great it is," said Titus of the 25 km course.

The race began at the north end of the trail, in the Wedgemont parking lot at 9 a.m., and finished at Spruce Grove. Completed by local trailbuilder Chris Markle last fall, the new trail is known for its old growth forests, rock sections and incredible views of Whistler Valley.

It’s also well known for the amount of climbing involved, which is estimated at over 5,000 vertical feet.

The top two runners were Anthony Estey, 19, and Stefan Fairweather, 20, from the Harriers running club in Victoria. They crossed the finish line together in a time of two hours, one minute and nine seconds.

Estey was the newcomer to running with only a handful of races under his belt. His longest before Comfortably Numb was a 12 km event in Victoria.

"I didn’t know what to expect really, I didn’t know anything about the trail. I was told the course was beautiful, and that’s what really kept me going. Every time I got tired all I had to do was look out, look around me, and that gave me a boost," said Estey.

Estey and Fairweather were in fourth and fifth at the halfway point, and soon afterwards overtook the top three runners on the downhill. They could have broken the two-hour mark if Estey’s leg muscles hadn’t started to tighten up in the last few kilometres. Fairweather could have run ahead, but preferred to run with his partner.

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