A team of Smithers runners called Upper Management are the women’s champions in the 18th annual Skeena River Relay with their final runner crossing the finish line after 11 hours, 30 minutes and 29 seconds. Transcend Fitness out of Terrace finished in second place.
On their way to the women’s title, four of the Upper Management runners recorded the fastest times in their stage of the race. Brandy Hughes finished the 13.8 km first leg in 1:00:59. In the fourth leg, Becky Bellis covered the 10.2 km in 46:45. Danielle Smyth was fastest in stage 5 at 1:10:29 for 15.3 km. And Johanna Wick took the ninth leg with a time of 58:14 over 13 km.
The 142-kilometre race from Prince Rupert to Terrace featured 30 teams, or 300 runners, who ran the 142-kilometre route broken up into 10 stages of varying lengths.
Rated one of the most spectacularly scenic drives in the world, the race offers participants a whole new perspective on their surroundings, according to race organizer Bailey Wagner.
“The Skeena River is such a beautiful place to run. Most people aren’t going out on the highway alone to run along the river any other time, so to have the support vehicles and the crowd out there makes it really unique and fun,” she said.
The mixed category crown — and fastest team — went to Achilles Friendonitis, with the Terrace side blitzing to a final time of 10 hours and 44 seconds. They would be followed later by Give’r on the River, the Telkwa team coming in at 11 hours, 11 minutes and 50 seconds.
Michael Jordan ran two stages for Give’r on the River recording the best times in both the 21.2 km third leg with 1:21:00 and 12.1 km sixth leg at 49:08.
Colin Lanoville, running for another Telkwa team called the Ice Cream Truck Chasers, also won his leg, the 13.0 km eighth stage with a time of 1:03:42.
The open category was taken by the Kitimat Bastards, making them back-to-back winners. The team finished the course with a total time of 10 hours, 56 minutes and 21 seconds. The Swamp Donkeys out of Prince Rupert were close behind, clocking in at 11 hours, 15 minutes and six seconds.
The Rupert Relics took the masters title back with a time of 14 hours, 16 minutes and five seconds. Prince Rupert’s The Average Antelopes took first in the corporate category with a time of 15 hours, 33 minutes and 53 seconds.
Runners were rewarded at day’s end with a well-deserved dinner, and many door prizes, at the Terrace Curling Club.