The Johnston Trail across from Lake Lillian was put to new use last weekend, when the 5 Peaks trail running race took over the single track for its inaugural event.
Damp weather didn’t deter more than two dozen runners from taking part in the early morning race on Saturday, May 3rd, which was the kick-off for the Kootenay region’s 2014 5 Peaks Trail Running Series, marketed as “more than just trail running races.”
“(Our events) are special celebrations of nature, of the hard work we put into our training, of strength, and of family and community,” reads the 5 Peaks website.
For the Invermere event, four lengths of track were offered — there was a 9-kilometre enduro course, a 4.4-kilometre sport course, plus 1- and 2.3-kilometre tracks for the children.
“You guys have fantastic trails for running on,” said race director Magi Scallion.
Johnson Trail is an ideal location for a 5 Peaks venue, as it offers mild challenges for beginner runners and 5 Peaks aims to introduce the sport to beginners, Ms. Scallion said.
Finishing first in the sport course was Steven Taylor, who clocked in at 26:06.1 — nearly two-and-a-half minutes ahead of his next competitor. Taking the honours in the enduro race was Jeff Murray, who completed the track in 48:10.8; 5 minutes and 37 seconds ahead of the second place finisher.
Ms. Scallion said that 5 Peaks normally holds its races in larger communities, and that many of the out-of-town runners enjoyed Invermere’s small town feel.
The series holds one race each month until Saturday, September 20th, covering Fernie, Revelstoke, Kimberley and Golden. Eager participants can purchase a season pass for all five Kootenay trail races. Asked if the series will be returning to Invermere, Ms. Scallion said “that’s the plan,” so long as permits are approved. Visit www. 5peaks.com.