About the race …
Now in its 10th year, the Seek The Peak challenges relay teams and individuals brave enough to tackle the 16km of gruelling uphill from Ambleside Park to the Peak of Vancouver at Grouse Mountain, while raising money for the BC Cancer Foundation’s work to fight against breast cancer. Despite the challenging course, a record number of runners signed up for this year’s event; 804 people, including over 60 teams, endured the challenging terrain in the name of a great cause! After all, who’s afraid of a few hills?
The overall winner was Shaun Stephens-Whale, with a time of 1:25:38, closely followed by the top relay team, Capilano Eagles at 1:30:07 and the top solo female, Kim Magnus, at 1:37:36. Full results can be viewed here.
The course (not for the faint hearted) …
- Leg 1 Ambleside to Capilano Pacific Trail 4km
- Leg 2 Capilano to the base of the Grind 6km
- Leg 3 Grouse Grind 3km
- Leg 4 Top of Grouse Grind to the Peak of Vancouver and back to the Lodge 3km
Capilano Eagles Team dominates the Relay!
The Capilano Eagles, a running club from West Vancouver, has traditionally dominated in the ‘Master’s’ category for the first eight years of the Seek the Peak. Since the Master’s category was discontinued two years ago, the Eagles still dominate in the overall relay times, and this year was no exception. Competing against 60+ other relay teams, the Eagles crossed the finish line in first place, a good ten minutes before the second place team, with an amazing 1:30:07.
Capilano Eagles Overall: 1:30:07 Leg 1: 13:20 Leg 2: 28:12 Leg 3: 33:57 Leg 4: 14:40
One of the contributing factors to the Capilano Eagle team’s success was that all four members were strong runners, but each person’s skills matched the part of the route that they covered. Dominic is a strong road runner, which is perfect for the first section of the route from Ambleside to the Capilano Pacific Trail. Christopher is good on trails, while Mike does the Grouse Grind on a regular basis and had an impressive time of just under 34 minutes in the race. Pano Skrivanos, is strong on mountainous terrain, and in particular the downhills, and was chosen for the last leg of the race, from the top of the Grind to the Peak of Vancouver and back to the lodge.
“This was the most painful run I’ve ever done”, says Pano. And Pano is no lightweight when it comes to trail running! He has competed in more than 100 races of 25km, 50km distances, and is currently training for the Knee Knacker. However, the pressure was on with such a strong team to do the best time possible and he rose to the occasion. “The last 3km was brutal – especially the downhill. It was very steep, with loose gravel – and quite dangerous. However, downhills are my strength and I was happy to clock one of the fastest times overall for Leg 4. However, when I crossed the finish line, I was seeing red, and my chest hurt for twenty minutes afterwards as I was breathing so hard”, he adds.
Overall, an epic race, with great views, even if you are too tired to enjoy them! Hope this will encourage more people to sign up for next year.