Whistler's Frew second fastest in Comfortably Numb

Rain makes for cool, greasy conditions; 5 Peaks takes over race organization

Numbers were down for the 2012 Comfortably Numb trail running race, with 93 runners at the start line on Sunday (June 24), compared to130 competitors last year.

Whistler's Seamus Frew set the second-fastest time of the day at two hours, one minute - just seconds behind his 2011 time to win his age division.

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The only competitor to break the two-hour mark on the 25 kilometre this year was overall winner Ed McCarthy from Vancouver (1:54:57). Other local results included Hannah Garcia winning her female 30-39 age division (2:38:48) and Stephanie Askwith placing second in the women's 20-29 age division (3:09:56).

The race changed hands just five days before the event, with Run the North Shore pulling out and local event organizer 5 Peaks stepping in.

"We pulled it all together last minute with the help of eight volunteers and a lot of support from the community," said 5 Peaks race director Chris Colpitts, also a Whistler local.

Part of that support came from the municipality, Redbull, which provided product for prizing, and The Adventure Group, which helped shuttle the racers to the start line at the Wedgemount Lake parking area.

While the weather was fine on Sunday morning, there was significant rainfall in the days leading up to the race, making for a challenging course.

"It started to dry out, but with the rain over the last three to four days it got slippery on the logs, roots and bridges. It did offer some extremely muddy sections as well," said Colpitts.

While the greasy conditions definitely took a toll on the runners, having cool conditions for the race was an advantage.

"At the same time it also was a little cooler in the morning, so it kept everyone's body temperatures down. The super dry conditions (can) have the extreme heat as well," he added.

All but two competitors completed the race and there were plenty of smiles at the finish line.

"I've done it once before and it just about killed me," said Whistler local Jim Budge, the only competitor in the 60-69 category.

"I was determined to do it again and it was lot better this time - I was in a lot better condition."

Budge participated in a 12-week training program for the Whistler Half Marathon and also attended the weekly trail running clinics held by Helly Hansen.

Competitors also praised the organization of the race, happy that Colpitts and the team from 5 Peaks are taking over the race moving forward.

"You'd never know they pulled it off on such short notice. They did a great job," added Budge.

5 Peaks will also be hosting the 90 kilometre (50 mile) ultra trail run Meet Your Maker, which is set for Sept. 1 and 2 in Whistler.

Here's a roundup of the top results:

Male 19 and under

Matt Webb (Denver) 2:37:41

Male 20-29

Ed McCarthy (Vancouver) 1:54:57

Mike McMillan (Vancouver) 2:05:15

Brad Schalles (Vancouver) 2:18:26

Male 30-39

Seamus Frew (Whistler) 2:01:00

Tom McCarthy (Vancouver) 2:03:20

Tom Craik (North Van) 2:16:59

Male 40-49

Brian May (Salmon Arm) 2:15:06

William Logie (Toronto) 2:20:56

Kevin Dumba (Calgary) 2:22:46

Male 50-59

James Griffiths (Vancouver) 2:37:40

John Wickenheiser (Kelowna) 2:38:07

Barry McClure (Whistler) 2:44:59

Male 60-69

Jim Budge (Whistler) 3:56:57

Female 19 and under

Sophie Pereira (Courtenay) 3:25:11

Ellie Webb (Denver) 3:45:39

Female 20-29

Darbykai Standrick (North Van) 2:32:53

Stephanie Askwith (Whistler) 3:09:56

Female 30-39

Hannah Garcia (Whistler) 2:38:48

Ann Strawhorn (Redding) 2:45:58

Jeanine Ball (Vancouver) 2:56:52

Female 40-49

Abbigail May (Salmon Arm) 2:30:43

Heather Culbert (Toronto) 2:41:12

Kristin Kopec (Whistler) 2:44:43

Female 50-59

Doleen Galbraith (Glasgow) 2:48:07

Sue Nicholson (West Van) 2:58:03

Kathleen Birney (Victoria) 3:37:49

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