Sun pierced over the Babine Mountains as 55 runners climbed more than 1,000 metres in the Hah Nic Na’ Aah mountain half-marathon.
The top female runner was recent high school graduate Eliyah Brawdy from Smithers with a time of 2:19:00. The top male was Francois Dagenais Cote of Prince George with a time of 1:53:20.
“She’s a dedicated runner, athlete. I was very impressed to see someone that young that dedicated and driven for trail running,” said race organizer Richard Joseph.
At 9 a.m. on Aug. 12, runners started on a trail that was similar to the one First Nation messengers from Wetsuweten and Gitxsan villages used to keep their communities connected. The name of the race, Hah Nic Na’ Aah, means messenger.
This year, the 21 km race started from the Lyon Creek Tail head for an 11 km climb up through the tree line (1,450 metres). At about one-third of the way through the trail runners were rewarded with views of the Bulkley Valley and Telkwa Range. After spending a few then they took the McCabe Trail for the gradual decent.
There were many volunteers who also took the steep hike in to check in runners as they passed by, provide first aid, water and energy cubes.
The race concluded with an icy dip in the river, and then a salmon BBQ in Smithers.
“It was an amazing day in the mountains with a great group of people! Highly recommend this event to anyone who enjoys running and hiking,” said Ellen Christison, who has taken part in the race twice.