The 19th annual Marathon Shuffle brought out the participants in droves. This year a record number of 124 participants braved a dampish marine cloud that had lowered itself over Powell Lake and environs. But what was misty in the morning turned into bright sunshine in the afternoon. The Shuffle, an increasingly popular rite of spring hosted by the Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society (1992) and their friends, is a hike or a run on a 29-kilometre long section of the Sunshine Coast Trail from Malaspina Road near Lund to the Shingle Mill pub and bistro on Powell Lake. A Half Shuffle from Wilde/Tomkinson roads is also becoming a favourite with the crowds.
More than thirty people came from out of town, some from Vancouver Island, many from the Lower Mainland, but some as far away as Prince George and Canmore, Alberta to enjoy the local amenities for the weekend. A good many of them were members of Club Fat Ass, which has supported the event for a good many years, and helps promote it with the running fraternity outside of Powell River.
As in previous years the month leading up to the Shuffle was a busy one for the maintenance crews that spent approximately 250 man-hours teasing the route into shape. After two late winter storms a fair number of trees had been blown over and needed to be bucked and moved off the trail. Then the salal whackers went to work and groomed the trail so that wet branches and fronds would not touch the legs and shoes of the athletes to help keep their feet dry. More red metal squares were added this year to ensure folks could always see the next marker ahead. At junctions more signage was put up, and orange arrows were sprayed on the ground to take the guesswork out of which way to go.
Now folks can simply head out to Malaspina Road and do a Shuffle at their own leisure, or up Wilde Road to do the less strenuous, but no less equally beautiful Half Shuffle along the Sliammon Lakes and over panoramic Scout Mountain. We received many positive comments after the event. We do appreciate getting constructive feedback that helps us improve as we strive to become a world-class destination.
A Thank You ad will be published separately in the Powell River Peak newspaper, a gesture of PRPAWS’ sincere appreciation of the many volunteers and donors who helped make this year’s Shuffle the record-smashing success that it was.
The top three male and female finishers were:
- Chris Bratseth (Powell River) 2:54:46 (new record – male)
- Nadine Butler (Terrace) 3:04:50 (new record – female)
- Stephanie Smith (Richmond) 3:06:09
- Carlie Smith (Vancouver) 3:10:02
- Alston Miller (Powell River) 3:20:10
- Sawyer Gowan (Powell River) 3:26:07 (new record – 19 and under)
Numerous participants also set new personal bests.
And many of the folks who were out for a Sunday hike to take pictures of spring unfolding found orchids, birds, frogs and many other interesting subjects along the way. It was a great day to take in the smells, sounds, sights, and for some, the touches and tastes of what the pioneers called “the jungles”.
For later this August we have begun exploring the feasibility of hosting a low-key relay that will stretch the length of the Sunshine Coast Trail from Sarah Point in Desolation Sound to Saltery Bay at the mouth of Jervis Inlet, 180 km of coastal terrain. At this point we are talking about teams of six, with each leg being roughly 30 km long, but we are still in the musing stages, and don’t know whether there would be any interest in participating in such an event. If you are interested let the conversation begin.
Please let us know if you find any mistakes, wrong times, distances, misspelled names, etc.
|Bib #||Name||Event||Age Group||Sex||Time|
|85||Jonathan van Wiltenburg||Full||30-39||M||3:58:18|
|19||Ana Clara Maria Arantes||Full||20-29||F||4:46:16|
|89||Rudi van Zwaaij||Full||50-59||M||6:09:08|
|120||Charlotte Styles||Full||70 better||F||6:17:29|
|83 (1)||Erik Jackson||Half||19-younger||M||2:26:16|
|82 (2)||Johanna Jackson||Half||19-younger||F||3:31:44|
|84 (3)||Sarah Sadler||Half||19-younger||F||3:31:53|