A mad sprint to the finish line after over six kilometres of mountain running netted Max Erwin a first place finish and a new course record at the 2017 Mount Hays Quickclimb on Aug 13.
Erwin had the best overall time out of the 40 competitors who took part in the race, completing the course with a time of 38:06.51, which is the fastest anyone has ever finished the climb. The previous record was 39 minutes and 24 seconds.
Erwin said he went into the race without any expectation of a specific result, just wanting to run a clean race and do his best.
“It’s always nice to win and get a new time record,” he said. “It feels pretty great.”
Erwin narrowly beat runner-up Judson Rowse who finished the climb in 38:19.12 a few minutes before him. Erwin credited a strong kick at the end with the narrow victory.
“I knew Jud was trying pretty hard, so I just pushed hard to give it everything to beat him,” he said. “It was fun going toe-to-toe with him because he’s one of the fastest guys in the area for sure.”
Erwin’s name will now be engraved on the event trophy, something he said was pretty cool.
“It’s cool to have your name on it, because it will live on in the history of the race year after year,” he said. “To have it be something that lives on is a pretty cool thing.”
The Quickclimb is back for the third year in a row after a four year hiatus. Its purpose is to raise awareness and money for trail development in and around Prince Rupert. The event is currently organized by the Kaien Island Trail Enhancement and Recreation Society in conjunction with the its two primary sponsors, Quickload Logistics and McElhanney.
Shawna Holkestad, one of the event’s organizers, said she was happy with how the event turned out even though it was competing against other community events in town and a race in the lower mainland.
“It’s gone very well today,” she said. “The weather held out for us, and we had fantastic repeated competitors come out for the event and the beat their overall existing times.”
Holkestad said the event would not have been possible without the help of approximately 30 volunteers who manned stations and helped to clear the trail for it to be suitable for running. She said some volunteers spent close to 11 hours clearing brush and other large obstacles from the path.
“They did a really great job, and their dedication is what makes this event possible,” she said.