Smith takes 2016 crown at wet Mount Hays Quickclimb

There were more than 50 participants at Prince Rupert's 2016 Mount Hays Quickclimb race in spite of the heavy rain.

Lindsay Smith

Rain, mud and even a looming mountain couldn’t stop Lindsay Smith from running to the best overall time at the Mount Hays Quickclimb on Saturday morning.

Smith was one of the 51 Rupert residents who battled the mountain through the mud and sometimes torrential downpour of rain.

The 30-year-old finished the race in 41:41, just 60 seconds better than Son Nguyen. Although he wasn’t expecting to win, it was a nice touch.

“It felt pretty good. I showed up in the morning and I knew it would be pretty competitive,” Smith said.

To his surprise, he won the race, which he said is largely due to the push of running with other people.

“If you’re running competitively, there’s no excuse to stop. It’s just really motivating. You’re not going to take that break,” he said.

Smith did little preparation for the event, only running up Mount Hays once in June and twice in August — and then only to the viewpoint, which is just 2.5 kilometres up. But he decided to participate, in part to be a motivation to others.

“I just like to see the Rupert crowd get out because a lot of people get discouraged by the weather … so I like to show that support and kind of motivate other people to do it,” Smith said on Sunday, rejuvenating after a full Saturday with the race and competing in softball playoffs.

It’s hard for him to know if that’s the fastest he’s ever run the mountain, since he never does it with a watch, he “doesn’t want to know.” The key for him was to just push through.

“I just see that I have six and a half kilometres on my plate and when it’s over, it’s over. Get it over with quickly,” said Smith.

Even in the rain, Quickclimb committee member Brittany Segin, thought the event went well.

“Really wonderful, despite this weather. It just shows the tenacity of Rupertites to get out there,” she said.

The fifth Quickclimb raised $16,000 to help fund trail building around Kaien Island. That’s just the actual cash raised and doesn’t include the $13,000 of in-kind donations, including paramedics, the BBQ and lunch, and other resources, time and material. Quickload Logistics and McElhanney were the primary sponsors of this event.

There will absolutely be a 2017 Quickclimb, said Segin. She added the committee is looking for other potential event sponsors, if an organization is interested in being a partner.

Marcus Komadina won the under-25 category with a time of 54:01. Tanveen Sahdra took the under-25 female title, running the mountain in 57:22.

In the 40+ male division, Andy Lindenblatt won with a time of 45:02 and the third-best overall time. Gail Bennett won that category on the female side at 1:08:42, with Andrea Nelson a mere four seconds behind her.

Smith took the 25-40 male section, with Nguyen just behind him. Mary Denton took her division for the second year in a row, this time in the female 25-40 category, with her time of 49:38.

Jessie Gibson cheers on Caitlin DuBiel as she powers through the puddle nicely placed before the finish line. There were more than 50 participants on Saturday at the Mount Hays Quickclimb race in spite of the heavy rain.

Jessie Gibson cheers on Caitlin DuBiel as she powers through the puddle nicely placed before the finish line. There were more than 50 participants on Saturday at the Mount Hays Quickclimb race in spite of the heavy rain. SHANNON LOUGH/THE NORTHERN VIEW