New Records in 8th Emperor’s Challenge

191 athletes from as far away as Denmark, Australia and England rose to the challenge on Saturday 12 August in the mountains south of Tumbler Ridge and took part in the eighth annual Emperor?s Challenge Mountain Race, ?the toughest and most beautiful half marathon in the world?, organized by the Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society.

In ideal running conditions the Mayor of Tumbler Ridge, Mike Caisley, set off the siren to start the 170 adult competitors on their way over the summit of Roman Mountain, involving an elevation gain and loss of 2500 feet, and a race distance of 20 kms. The new Mathews Gully route proved exacting but popular. The magnificent summit scenery of the northern Rockies, and views of caribou, was ample reward for the relentless climb.

Seven-time winner Kris Swanson drove through the night from Victoria, arriving in time to enter the race, and set a blistering pace, leaving the opposition behind. He became Roman Emperor for the eighth successive time, clocking a time of 1 hour 34 minutes and 8 seconds, clipping four and a half minutes off his previous record. His string of victories is one of the great achievements of Canadian mountain-running.

Behind Swanson for the second year in a row was Trevor Kolkea of Dawson Creek, and third was Brian Nemethy of Vanderhoof. First Tumbler Ridge athlete home was fourteen year old Daniel Helm, who failed to break the magic two hour barrier by just two seconds.

Jen Becker of Edmonton has been a summer student in Tumbler Ridge for the past three years, and each year she has challenged the mountain. She improved on her previous fourth and second place finishes, taking the women?s trophy in 2 hours 8 minutes 25 seconds. Second was another up and coming athlete, sixteen year old Kathryn Stone of Grande Prairie, just ousting Sonya Bodner into third position in a tight finish.

Two eleven year olds took on the full course, Becky Byren from England and Joseph Squires from Dawson Creek. At the other end of the age spectrum was 81-year old Alfred Nagel from Denmark, the oldest competitor in the history of the race, who appropriately was presented with a ?Never Quit? t-shirt at the awards ceremony after the event.

Kids took part in age-specific racers of just over two and four kilometers, with age records being set by Alexander Nemethy and local runners Carina Helm, Kaitlyn Payne and Kelly Fry. Trevor Kolkea, Nathan Bernadette and Ray Clark joined the elite group that has completed five Emperor?s Challenges, and were therefore awarded their coveted ?in perpetuity? numbers.

Tireless race director Doug Foerster thanked his organizing committee and the many volunteers, organizations and sponsors who had made an event of this nature possible, and summed up: ?It is rewarding for us to be able to attract so many athletes to our community and our amazing mountain scenery. The energy and enthusiasm of these runners and walkers is what amazes and inspires us. Thankfully the great weather today allowed everyone to enjoy the Emperor?s Challenge to the full. We are already looking forward to next year.?

Emperor?s Challenge – from page one.

Tireless race director Doug Foerster thanked his organizing committee and the many volunteers, organizations and sponsors who had made an event of this nature possible, and summed up: ?It is rewarding for us to be able to attract so many athletes to our community and our amazing mountain scenery. The energy and enthusiasm of these runners and walkers is what amazes and inspires us. Thankfully the great weather today allowed everyone to enjoy the Emperor?s Challenge to the full. We are already looking forward to next year.?

Female Runners 20 km (name and times) Alison-Tucker-2:20:39-Ann-Hurst-2:52:11-Barb -Wetherill-2:57:47-Barbara-Reiss-4:07:57-Barbara-Tuckwood-4:12:11-Becky-Temple-4:33:45-Bette-Lou-Brewster-2:36:05-Bev-Barradell-4:35:37-Birgit-Sharman-:29:24-Brenda -Lazinchuk-3:07:27-Candace-Howes-4:31:46-Cara-Zamburek-3:34:56-Catharine-Semeiuk-4:12:03-Christina-Graham-4:31:13-Christine-Bateman-3:32:41-Cindy -Bateman-4:35:36-Corea-Disher-2:46:50-Crystal-Fraser-2:37:45-Crystal-Fry-4:03:16-Cyndy-Lorincz-4:54:12-Debbie-Zamburek-2:23:06-Deborah-Humphries-3:11:57-Diane -Brodeur-2:46:16-Erika -Quesnel-4:01:14-Erin-Coffey-3:21:49-Esther-Walkley-3:13:54-Eva-St. Jean-3:08:46-Gisele-Stanek-4:31:31-Hanna-Kabzems-3:16:52-Harriet-Befus-5:00:00+-Iboyla-Agoston-3:17:48-Jacqueline-Bardgett-2:47:00-Jaimie-Fry-4:57:31-Jan-Befus-Nogel-5:00:00+-Jan-Legaspi-3:24:32-Janna-Onychuk-4:41:38-Jan-Schmidt-3:50:44-Jaylene-Roberts-2:55:14-Jean-Anderson-4:07:57-Jeannette-Shaw-3:11:57-Jennifer-Becker-2:08:25-Jennifer-Kraus-2:15:28-Jenny-Keith-3:07:16Jessica-Scutt-4:57:30-Joanna-Byren-2:33:17-Joelle-Mickey-DNF-Jordana-Anderson-2:19:52-Juanita-Strasky-4:42:06-Judy-Rhodes-3:23:47-Judy-Selin-DNF-Julie-Fedoivich-2:55:57-Karen-Jukes-2:57:31-Kari-Anderson-4:54:11-Kathryn-Stone-2:12:58-Kaylea-Mason-4:31:15-Kelly-Beard-2:32:01-Kelly-Joy-3:23:30-Krisha-Cox-3:38:18-Kristy-Norman-3:37:49-Lee-Hall-2:42:14-Leslie-Budac-4:12:15-Linda-Helm-2:53:02-Lindsay-Lenart-3:01:28-Liz-Squires-4:40:01-Loraine-Mason-4:42:06-Lorena-Wieler-3:44:29-Lorrie-Spinney-2:56:38-Marcia-Halajeski-5:00:00+-Marie-Allard-4:05:58-Mary Jo-Thibodeau-4:12:12-Michelle-Payne-3:57:53-Michelle-Simpson-2:46:52-Natalie-Sharman-3:02:06-Oralynne-Collins-3:08:18-Rebecca-Byren-2:32:27-Renee-Bailey-4:31:14-Rhonda-Zeunert-3:36:30-Robyn-Waddington-3:03:20-Sandy-Burton-4:42:06-Sara-Irvine-2:43:25-Sara-Kolkea-3:50:44-Sara-Martin-4:12:03-Shannon-Fry-4:57:32-Sheena-Walkley-3:13:54-Sherri-Lock-4:12:03-Sonya-Bodner-2:13:11-Stacy-Schmidt-2:21:49-Susan-Chhina-2:44:21-Tammera-Kostya-2:43:45-Tanya-Goertzen-3:44:29-Terri-Gale-3:35:52-Terry-Beard-4:27:30-Tiffany-Hetenyi-3:16:52-Tracey-Strasky-3:08:13-Trisha-Gayse-3:37:10-Tyria-Plamondon-2:36:05-Violet-Johnson-2:53:13-Wanda-Nemethy-2:17:45- Wanda-Neste-2:22:10

Male Runners 20 km (name and times) Aaron-Bond-2:07:30 Alan-Buswell-2:30:24 Alfred-Nogel-5:00:00+ Allen-Tuckwood-4:12:11 Bill-Corcoran-2:01:57 Bill-Hamm-3:06:41 Bob-Barradell-3:42:22 Brian-Hurst-2:52:11 Brian-Nemethy-1:47:21Bryant-Gill-3:21:05 Cal-White-2:25:15 Charles-Helm-2:03:46 Chris-Budac-2:16:45 Chris-Carlin-3:21:46 Chris-Wagner-3:02:26 Daniel-Helm-2:00:02 Dave-Lewis-4:54:12 Dave-Rhodes-3:44:50 Dennis-Straussfogel-2:05:50 Dharminder-Rupana-2:37:36 Doug-Morrison-2:25:11 Dwayne-Fry-4:03:24 Edward-Benoit-2:35:00 Eric-Wolf-2:19:20 Fred -Walkley-2:22:00 Fred-Fieber-2:50:19 Garry-Roth-2:43:17 Gary-Gould-3:44:46 Geoff-Cahill-2:20:11 Glenn-Pud-3:01:43 Gord-Chilton-2:17:55 Ian-Syme-3:38:38 Ivor-Byren-2:32:53James-Selin-DNFJohn-Bass-2:33:05John-Bateman-4:35:38 Joseph-Squires-4:39:54 Kelly-Lang-2:48:01 Kent-Pederson-2:14:33 Kevin-Sharman-2:36:28 Kevin-Wiens-2:09:23 Kimpton-Bradford-2:41:49 Kris-Swanson-1:34:08 Kurtis-Olineck-1:55:30 Kyle-Irving-3:35:47 Larry Quesnel -4:01:14 Luke-Rounds-2:06:05 Max-Allen-2:57:47 Nathan-Bernadet-2:55:17 Oliver-Hui-2:54:20 Owen-Strasky-4:31:32 Paul-Thibodeau-4:12:13 Philip-Rempel-2:09:53 Pierre-Johnstone-3:01:20 Ray-Clark-3:27:34 Regan-Wetherill-3:07:09 Reg-Wetherill-2:43:18 Richard-Kabzems-4:42:06 Richard-Stewart-3:12:08 Robert-Humphries-3:11:57 Robert-Zeunert-4:33:44 Rob-Freeman-2:50:20 Roland -Diehl-2:53:45 Roland-Esposito-2:24:30 Rudy-Heistadt-2:10:24 Sean-McKnight-2:09:48 Stephen-Strasky-4:42:06 Tom-Avery-2:18:01 Trevor-Kolkea-1:43:18 Ward-Minifie-2:47:07 Wayne-Mould-3:11:57

Girls seven and under 2.11 KM: Hailey-Jukes-31:36:00 Kyra-Jukes-31:31:00 Sarah Jay-Nogel-23:58 Talia-Wiens-18:05

Boys seven and under Luke-Gill-54:27:00 Matthew-Payne-18:05 Simon-Nemethy-13:06

Girls eight to ten: Caitlin-Payne-17:54-Kelly -Fry-17:54-

Boys eight to ten Alexander-Nemethy-9:03 Torsten-Nogel-23:54 Conan-LaGlase-23:55

Boys 11-14, 4.22km Ryan Durand 30:01?00 Jordon Pouliot 30:30:00

Girls 11-14, 4.22 km Brittany-Durand-30:30:00 Carina-Helm-20:46 Chanae-Winthrow-Howes-31:27:00 Hannah-Byren-22:04 Laura-Sharman-22:46 Lynnsy-Noll-41:22:00

Team Results: B-Fast-Fred Walkley, Esther Walkley, Sheena Walkley, Bill Hamm-11:56:29 P.G. Road Runners-Wendy Nemethy, Brian Nemethy, Dennis Straussfogel, Chris Budac-8:27:41 Purple Cobras-Trevor Kolkea, Tiffany Hetenya, Eric Wolf, Luke Rouwas-9:25:35 Team ABS-Kevin Sharman, Birgit Sharman, Max Allen, Jennifer Becker-10:12:04 The Frys-Shannon, Duane, Jaimie, and Crystal Fry18:01:43