Doug Foerster, Race Director

pecial Message From Doug Foerster, Co-race Director

The 2008 Emperor?s Challenge was a remarkable success according to the participants and organizers alike. From my point of view as co-race director this year, very ably assisted by Kelly McManus, who heroically volunteered to take over this category for next year, it was a major success, and personifies the fabulous terrain that we enjoy here in our back (front) yard.

It was due to the hard work and dedication throughout the year of the Emperor?s Challenge Committee ? Charles and Linda Helm, Birgit Sharman, Bert Schalekamp, Shirley Fry, Fred and Shawna Booker, and many others who dedicated much needed time and expertise in order to bring this event to a seamless conclusion.

Having so many participants return from previous years was most gratifying to us, and also to hear their reasons for doing so. This was exemplified by the oldest competitor, Art Nolan ? age 83, who was recognized again with a special trophy, and who returned with added vigour and a big smile.

As one person who telephoned me about entering mentioned, he had been advised to concentrate on this Race rather than other mountain runs. The Emperor?s Challenge, he had been told, was the best, most interesting and challenging event on the circuit.

Thanks for this needs to be directed to all of the 70-plus volunteers, without whom it would NOT work ? they can all take a bow, and are being presented with a special Emperor?s Challenge mug. The Emperor?s Challenge has many features:

1)Kids Races on a tough 2 km and a 4 km course. Volunteers maintain continuous line of sight contact.

2)Pre-Race ?Bear alert? strategy, and emergency helicopter coverage donated by Ridge Rotors. This is a first class addition to the support and confidence factor of the competitors, and is the third year of such greatly appreciated help.

3)Search and Rescue and Ambulance presence, and water stations ? first aid coverage at six strategically located water stations serviced by volunteers, who braved heat, fatigue and isolation for a few hours of action. Luckily the ambulance attendants had just minor complaints to deal with, but their presence is much appreciated.

4)Complimentary food to all supplied by the Lions Club with a grant from the Emperor?s Challenge Committee.

5)A superior final program with medals for all finishers, and other hardware for the winner and top placers.

6)Four massage therapists!

This could not be possible without the cheerful and competent volunteers who were seemingly everywhere ? from the pre-race to the final clean-up. Thanks to you all, and to the Town of Tumbler Ridge for their help.

An extra special thanks to the people and corporation of Peace River Coal for so much help in so many ways.

Only one interesting addition that was suggested: ?can?t think of anything else that could be added, except, perhaps cold beer at the water stations as and alternative???

Now, if we could get a volunteer supplier?.?

Kelly McManus, next year?s Race Director, is anticipating 400 for next year ?ouch!

On behalf of hard working Fred Booker, President of the Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society and the Emperor?s Challenge Organizing Committee,

Cheers till next year.

Doug Foerster.