On Saturday 24 September a dozen Tumbler Ridge runners journeyed to Fort St John for the annual Grailquest (a run originally modelled on the Monty Python escapades). This run is now part of the regional cross country running series and draws over a hundred competitors.
The most impressive results from the Tumbler Ridge perspective were a ?clean sweep? in the Girls Grade 4-6 category. In a strong field Carina Helm finished first, followed by Laura Sharman and Kelsey Legault in an exciting dash to the finish line. Laura managed to edge Kelsey out by a couple of inches.
Sheena Walkley, at the bottom end of her age category in Grade 7, ran well to grab bronze in the girls Grade 7-9 event, closely followed by Natalie Sharman and Esther Walkley.
In the Boys Grade 1-3 Christopher MacKay celebrated his return to running with a powerful sprint that earned him the Gold Medal. Daniel Helm ran up an age category and entered the Grade 10-12 event so as to be able to run the full five kilometer distance, and managed a strong third place finish.
Amongst the adults, in the Masters Women?s event Birgit Sharman won Gold despite being in a batch of runners that lost a few minutes due to a wrong turn. Ruth Walkley has entered the Grailquest regularly over the past few years and put in a consistent run to finish fourth.
In the Masters Men?s event Charles Helm hung in for third place while Fred Walkley, sidelined for a couple of years through injury, signalled his welcome return to running, and his rapidly improving form, with a solid run and amazing finishing spurt.
Winner of the Grail was a good friend of Tumbler Ridge, Stephanie Mills, up visiting from Victoria. Stephanie has won the Emperor?s Challenge Women?s Run for the past two years.
All in all it was an enjoyable day of racing on a very tough hilly course. The Wolves cross country running series finishes with a race in Tumbler Ridge and then a final event in Dawson Creek.