Residents kicked off the beginning of summer with the first ever Smithers Solstice Trail Run to help raise money for the high school’s running team last Saturday.
Thirty participants took to the trails for a 10-kilometre race around the perimeter trail or Enduro half marathon race.
Organizer Matthew Mazurek said the trails are the perfect place for runners of all skill levels to participate.
“The half marathon is a hard climbing race, but very fun,” he said. “The 10 kilometre is much more beginner friendly for people that just want to get their feet wet with some trail racing.”
He added that the race was organized to help support local athletes.
“The race is to help fundraise for the high school cross country running team,” he said, noting all the proceeds from entry fees will be donated to help the team get to provincials this year.
For some, the event brought a long-distance challenge to local trails.
Doug Dykens finished the half marathon in two hours and 42 minutes.
“When I started, I hoped to get a personal best. But I didn’t realize how steep the course was on the backside in the trails, so then the goal was finishing,” he said, adding this was his first half marathon race.
Smithers resident Erin Holtzman enjoyed the trails, completing the perimeter race in roughly an hour and two minutes.
“It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be,” she said.
The race was challenging for even the youngest participants.
“The last bit was killer because the only real hill was in the last one kilometre,” said 11-year-old Miller Kriese. “It was fun.”
The fastest racers in the half marathon were Kyle Irvine, completing the race in one hour and 53 minutes, and Ngaere Gilbert in two hours and 18 minutes.
The perimeter racers were led by Peter Krause who finished in 46 minutes and Sarah Hamhuis who finished in an hour and two minutes.