By Vince Shuley, Whistler Question
The scorching temperatures of the Canada Day long weekend were not the most ideal for a trail running ultra, but organizers of the fourth annual Tenderfoot Boogie were prudent in getting the race started pre-dawn at 5 a.m.
“The guys coming in a few hours from now might have a different story, but for me (the temperature) was good,” said overall 50-mile winner Jonathon Garnett, who crossed the line with a personal best of seven hours, 41 minutes, 25 seconds — more than two hours ahead of Roy Kok, who came in second at 10:03:27.
“It started off nice and cool, about 16 degrees with a bit of rain. By the time the sun crested the ridge it was half over.”
Garnett, originally from Victoria, is no stranger to running in heat and humidity being based in Hong Kong.
“Training in Hong Kong has good crossover benefits, you come back from a run in thirty-degree heat and you’re soaked. For me, this is actually really nice.”
The 50-mile course started at the Squamish Adventure Centre and wound its way past Brackendale, Brohm Lake and the Paradise Valley before following the Sea to Sky Highway. Several more trail diversions at Lucille Lake and Brandywine Falls Provincial Park kept runners on their toes before the final stage through Whistler’s Westside to the finish at Meadow Park.
“The first half of this 50-miler is pretty flat, so it gives you the opportunity to really put the pedal to the metal and get some fast kilometres in,” said Garnett.
“Obviously that brings in the risk of overdoing it, you have to hold it back a little bit so you can keep some fuel in the tank for when the hills do start. It’s actually quite nice because you get a bit of ebb and flow with the hills. It undulates, it flows, it’s a good mix. It only goes on the road when it has to.”