The Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society (WNMS) has partnered with the Northern Health Authority to create a photo display in the Tumbler Ridge Health Centre, which catches the eye of all who pass through the Centre. It features the Emperor?s Challenge Mountain Race, billed as the ?toughest and most beautiful half marathon in the world, held in the mountains above Tumbler Ridge each August, and now in its ninth year.
There are three huge (36″ x 24″) photos, mounted on board, each featuring a unique characteristic of this race, which gains and loses 2400 feet in a circular route over the summit of Roman Mountain. One is of eight-time winner Kris Swanson cresting the summit, one is of the youngest ever competitor, eleven year old Becky Byren from the U.K.., leading a long line of runners up an alpine ridge, and the third is of the tail end of the field ascending the notorious Mathews Gully, with participants helping each other over the rocks and boulders.
Charles Helm, Tumbler Ridge family physician and WNMS Secretary commented, ?Our staff here at the Health Centre are passionately enthusiastic about the benefits of exercise. Many of the messages one reads on the walls of a health facility are more sombre, or designed to scare people away from destructive behaviours. We thought this would be a great place to place these eye-catching WNMS photos, which send a positive message about getting active and striving for excellence. The wonderful thing about the Emperor?s Challenge is that, while it is an incredibly tough race for the super-fit runners, it is an achievable goal for just about any walker who is prepared to do some training, so as to complete the course in five hours. Last year we had an inspiring octogenarian who travelled all the way from Denmark for the event.?
Karen Davis, Health Services Administrator for the Northern Health Authority in the South Peace added, ?Hearty congratulations to the WNMS as creators and champions of the Emperor?s Challenge, an annual event that encourages all walks of people to push their own personal limits to walk or run this course. What better way to promote healthy living and physical activity than to do so in the natural beauty of Tumbler Ridge.
Come spring, Tumbler Ridge News will be featuring weekly articles on the Emperor?s Challenge, with route and training tips, advice on mental preparation, mountain-running techniques, and comments from past competitors.