STORMY ups the challenge 

First 100-mile run gets underway Aug. 10

Since its humble beginnings in 2001, STORMY has emerged as one of the province’s ultimate ultra trail runs, with runners typically following the 64 km Test of Metal mountain bike course. The race itself is an acronym for Squamish Test of Running Metal — Yeah!

Two years ago organizers added a relay category to open the race to teams of three, but otherwise the race was pretty much the same for the first six years.

The seventh annual STORMY will be a lot different, with organizers now offering both 50 Mile (80 km) and 100 Mile (161 km) ultramarathon distances.

The 50 Mile run is open to solo runners and relay teams, and there is no cap on participation. The 100 Mile run, which is sold out, was open to solo runners that have met the organizers’ criteria. The race is also a qualifier race for other ultra runs.

The 100 Mile run gets underway on Friday, Aug. 10 at 10 a.m. at Brennan Park, and runners will go through the night with the aid of headlamps. There will be a pacer on course to help runners, and aid stations at approximately every 10 km.

The 50 Mile race gets underway at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning.

There race wraps up on Saturday at 6 p.m., and runners will be cut off if they don’t make certain milestones along the way. 100-mile runners are expected to complete the course in under 32 hours, and 50 mile runners are expected to finish under 12 hours.

“Given this is our first year for the 100-miler, we’ve encouraged only the strongest, most experienced local distance runners to take the challenge,” said race director Wendy Montgomery, who has represented Canada on the National 100K Run Team, and has completed the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run in California.

“I’m proud to announce we’ve assembled one of the most competitive fields of distance runners ever seen in Canada.

“Most of the 100-mile participants are over 40 years old and have at least one 100-miler under their belt. Our youngest entrant is 27, our oldest is 67, and our most experienced has completed six 100-milers. Given that the advantage men have over women in running races diminishes with the distance, I’m not surprised that many of the starters are women. It’s possible that the overall race winner will be a woman.”

The course will be the same for both groups of runners, with the 100-mile crew doing two laps of the course. About 97 per cent of the course is on trails and forest service roads, and three per cent on paved roads. A map, and registration for the 50-Mile event, is available online at www.stormytrailrace.ca.

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