Emperor’s Challenge 2007

Site: Mt.Roman; Date August 11, 2007

From my perspective- as Race Director 2007.

Pumped-up ? you bet.

I know I cannot describe adequately the final effects of this year?s Emperors Challenge, but, bear with me (there wasn?t one there either ? whew), I need to relay some of the feelings as well as Kudos to our organizing Committee and Volunteers.

As you already know, our new record holder is Steve Osaduik who is known to many serious Marathoners as Canada?s best 42.2 km Marathon Runner.

Let me tell you a little of his impression on me ? he is a Class person. He is inspiring in his humility, willing to talk and, as with his good friend and past Champion Kris Swanson, is a superb credit to the runners of this venue ? the Mountain Marathon – and serious runners in general.

His opinion of the Race and location is ?Far above anything I have entered before,? and ?I have never had the option to run in this environment ? on top of everything.?

It is fabulous to see the camaraderie between these two ? past and present record holders of this- arguably ?the toughest and most beautiful half Marathon yet seen?, and ? I cannot wait until 2009?. He is hoping for a birth in the 2008 Olympics, and we wish him luck, though he will miss the EC for 2008.

Kris? comment: ?I can?t wait for next year to beat this record ? I?ll train even harder for it.? ?.and some wonder why we, as Volunteers, are in full support and turn out year after year? Well ? for us we are happy to be able to give back to the athletic cause what we, in the past eons, have received ourselves. We also expect, and know, that in the future these contestants will do the same for the young athletes in the same personal best causes.

Which brings me to the Volunteers, without whom ? this Canada Class Premier Event

(BELIEVE IT) could not happen. Yet it is that in stature now ? thanks, in particular to the initial vision of Charles and Linda Helm, Nigel Mathews, Kevin &Birgit Sharman, Al Tattersall, and Fred and Ruth Walkley. Their vision, which has now been realized, has produced the Kris Swanson story and has attracted elite Runners from Canada and around the World.

With this exposure from Steve Osaduik, and the 260 adults (25 no-shows, who will probably regret missing this one ) and 19 Kids- next years attendance is a mystery, but guaranteed to be exciting with others trying to beat this record. It appears that 2008 may be the last time that this particular route will be available; after that the Challenge will take on a new meaning on a new route.

So.. to THE CREW:

The Organizing Committee is composed of: WNMS President Fred Booker (great support with incredible Km markers, route marking); Shawna Booker (numerous jobs including Race Day Volunteer co-ordinator); Charles Helm (Public Relations/media & Route scouting, marking); Linda Helm (Trophies, T shirts, medals); Arnold Kaun (Treasurer, and Race packaging support, Race day Timing); Michelle Payne (?HUGE job? of Volunteer coordinator for the entire Operation); Birgit Sharman (Secretary, statistician and Sponsor contacts, Co- Director); – all of whom made my job as Race Director a ?Walk in the Park?.

ALSO, our consistently reliable stalwarts, without whom we could not pull it together, were:

On site Pre Race and on the Mountain support Volunteers:

Dan Cassan (whose photos and ?sweep? of the Matthews Gully are greatly appreciated), Roger Cottee, Al Fry, Dwayne Fry, Peggy Kaun, Jennifer Kennedy, Arthur and Shirley Lausch, Jack and Eleanor McNeil, Eric and Prudence Mueller, Bob Norman, Dakota Schembri, Jerrilyn Schembri, Mayu Shibata, Karen Strang, Ruth and Fred Walkley, Caitlyn McWhirter, Doug and Leonard Wills, AND the Search and Rescue ?Crew? with Rob Vandale in charge. The Race would not happen as a safe and smoothly running operation without their support with Radio coverage, Water Station placement and transport, and First Aid (if necessary) from the Summit to the Base. Kudos to Mike Hunter for his early-bird Parking directions ? 100 plus vehicles, and to Paul Payne for his Friday night trailer haul to be ?Custodian of the Tent and equipment?. To the Town of Tumbler Ridge for the loan and transport of the pylons and barricades and also for the 4 ?BIG JOHNS?. You can imagine the use they received. Hmm? six ?locations for 300 plus people for six hours = Wow, enough said.

Thank you also to the ?watchers? who keep the Kids in ?line of Sight? at all times at the turns of their 4 km Race: Barb Fletcher, Shirley Lausch, Donna Mandeville, Stan Phillips, Vera Phillips, Heather Renton, Dakota Schembri, Mayu Shibata, Karen Strang,

Heather Popkes, Charlie Lake, Ron Hewitson, and Anne Taylor (Dawson Creek). To the Lions Club for another year of smiling faces and superb food, and to BC Ambulance for yet again providing excellent service, which this year was put to good use.

Roger Legault for excellent photo coverage ?around the Scene?, and Gary Holmlund for his ?Top of the Mountain? individual photos ? momentos for each Runner to say? I did it?.

Sandy Treit for her enormous help with the E Mail and on-line set-up for us ?without which we would not be nearly as effective and able to handle the Race Information necessary for this calibre of event.

Pre Race Registration and support; Margaret Ash, Amanda Battenfielder, Sharon Caisley, Heather Renton, Sandra Schlief, Mayu Shibata, Jean Slaney, Tammy Pigeon and Lynn Wall. Thanks to you all.

To the Sponsors who enable us to keep the entry costs low, as well as being able to provide funds for the Food, the Tent costs, and provision for multi other needs, a HUGE THANKS.

The helicopter coverage by Ridge Rotors Inc. was, again, a service that the competitors have commented upon as being a first in the major race events ? the third year for Safety at the highest level possible for a Mountain event. Thanks Hans!

Enormous relief from Massage people: Darlyn Roden, Rita Kostaluk and Evelyn Lumsden.

Thanks to all, and, be assured, 2008 will be even better!

Yours truly, Doug Foerster