Jean-Francois Richer of the Kitimat Bastards team in Stage 9 at the Skeena River Relay. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Jean-Francois Richer of the Kitimat Bastards team in Stage 9 at the Skeena River Relay. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Kitimat team new top dog at the Skeena River Relay

Thirty teams competed in the 142km running race from Prince Rupert to Terrace on June 2

A new champion was crowned in this year’s Skeena River Relay on June 2.

The Kitimat Bastards took the top spot with an unofficial time of 10:54:00, dethroning the three-time champions from Terrace Out For A Rip, who did not participate in this year’s race.

The result capped off another successful year for the relay, which returned for its 17th year. Twenty-nine teams and nearly 300 runners took part in the race where they tested their running mettle against the winding, 142-kilometre jaunt that is Highway 16.

READ MORE: Terrace team takes Relay three years in a row

The 10-stage race began at 7 a.m. at the Lester Centre of the Arts and finished at Canadian Tire in Terrace.

This year’s competition brought one of the most diverse fields in recent memory, drawing teams from as far away as Aldergrove and Surrey to compete against stalwarts from Prince Rupert, Terrace, Smithers and Haida Gwaii.

“It shows that the event has grown and everyone has love for it, and that it’s near and dear to a lot of people’s hearts,” said Crystal Sawatzky, one of the event’s co-directors.

Sawatzky added that the combination of enthusiasm from new teams and competitive spirit from returning teams made for a positive race environment that lasted through the day. Volunteers and supporting teammates dotted the highway, providing water and shouting out encouragement to the runners.

“Everybody just seemed really happy and excited,” she said. “We always seem to get a good bunch. I think it went really well.”

According to unofficial race results made available before deadline, Not Fast Just Furious came second in the open category with a total time of 12:13:04, followed by the Gooeyducks, who finished with a total time of 12:59:55.

The top mixed team was the Swamp Donkeys, who finished with a total time of 11:30:14, followed by the Calf Muscle Models in second with a time of 11:41:54 and the Skeena Valley Runners in third with a total time of 11:42:11.

The Semiahmoo Sunrunners, from Surrey, took home the top masters position with a total time of 13:45:03. The Rupert Relics came second with a total time of 13:56:09.

The top women’s team was Propel Your Health, who finished in 14:14:07 followed by Transcend Fitness with 14:15:43 and All About U(s), from Haida Gwaii, at 14:16:55.

The top corporate team was There Are Margaritas At The End, from Smithers, with a time of 11:28:31.

READ MORE: The origins of the Skeena River Relay



matthew.allen@thenorthernview.com

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Prances With Wolves team members, Alexie Stephens takes off for the final leg after Max Erwin tags her off in the 17th annual Skeena River Relay. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Prances With Wolves team members, Alexie Stephens takes off for the final leg after Max Erwin tags her off in the 17th annual Skeena River Relay. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Ngaere Gilbert tackles the final leg of the Skeena River Relay for the Smithers team, There Are Margaritas At The End, which won first in the corporate division with a time of 11:28:31. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Ngaere Gilbert tackles the final leg of the Skeena River Relay for the Smithers team, There Are Margaritas At The End, which won first in the corporate division with a time of 11:28:31. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

One of the race directors, Crystal Sawatzky just before she ran Stage 2 or the Average Antelopes. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

One of the race directors, Crystal Sawatzky just before she ran Stage 2 or the Average Antelopes. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Mark Harding runs Stage 3 in the Skeena River Relay for the Surrey team, Semiahmoo Sunrunners, winner of the Masters Division with a time of 13:45:03. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Mark Harding runs Stage 3 in the Skeena River Relay for the Surrey team, Semiahmoo Sunrunners, winner of the Masters Division with a time of 13:45:03. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Charles Paquet race to the finish in Stage 10 of the Skeena River Relay for the Swamp Donkeys, the Prince Rupert team that placed first in the Mixed Division with a time of 11:30:14. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Charles Paquet race to the finish in Stage 10 of the Skeena River Relay for the Swamp Donkeys, the Prince Rupert team that placed first in the Mixed Division with a time of 11:30:14. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Owen Block passes another runner in the final leg of the Skeena River Relay for the Skeena Valley Runners on Saturday, June 2. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Owen Block passes another runner in the final leg of the Skeena River Relay for the Skeena Valley Runners on Saturday, June 2. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Jamie Komadina with The Gooeyducks from Prince Rupert having some fun on the 21km leg, Stage 3, at the Skeena River Relay. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View).

Jamie Komadina with The Gooeyducks from Prince Rupert having some fun on the 21km leg, Stage 3, at the Skeena River Relay. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View).

Carly Madge takes on the hills in Stage 9 of the Skeena River Relay for her team Weapons of Ass Destruction from Smithers. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Carly Madge takes on the hills in Stage 9 of the Skeena River Relay for her team Weapons of Ass Destruction from Smithers. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Kevin Vandergaag travelled from Aldergrove with his team, I Got The Runs, to race in the Skeena River Relay. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Kevin Vandergaag travelled from Aldergrove with his team, I Got The Runs, to race in the Skeena River Relay. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Tammy Palmer takes on Stage 1 for her speedy team, the Swamp Donkeys at the Skeena River Relay. The Prince Rupert team placed first in the Mixed Division with a time of 11:30:14. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Tammy Palmer takes on Stage 1 for her speedy team, the Swamp Donkeys at the Skeena River Relay. The Prince Rupert team placed first in the Mixed Division with a time of 11:30:14. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Aidan Carter charges up the hills in Stage 9 for the Caledonia Running Club team at the Skeena River Relay. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Aidan Carter charges up the hills in Stage 9 for the Caledonia Running Club team at the Skeena River Relay. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Judson Rowse stays strong in the longest leg of the Skeena River Relay. His team, the Swamp Donkeys, placed first in the Mixed Division with a time of 11:30:14. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Judson Rowse stays strong in the longest leg of the Skeena River Relay. His team, the Swamp Donkeys, placed first in the Mixed Division with a time of 11:30:14. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Kiana Moore was all smiles during her Stage 10 run at the Skeena River Relay. Moore ran on the Smithers team, Weapons of Ass Destruction. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Kiana Moore was all smiles during her Stage 10 run at the Skeena River Relay. Moore ran on the Smithers team, Weapons of Ass Destruction. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

After running the 13.8-kilometre in the first leg of the Skeena River Relay, Brittany Pederson tags off Tight & Bright teammate Brittane O’Connor for Stage Two. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

After running the 13.8-kilometre in the first leg of the Skeena River Relay, Brittany Pederson tags off Tight & Bright teammate Brittane O’Connor for Stage Two. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

The Gooeyducks team member, Jamie Komadina midway through Stage 3, the 21km leg of the Skeena River Relay. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View).

The Gooeyducks team member, Jamie Komadina midway through Stage 3, the 21km leg of the Skeena River Relay. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View).

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