Category Archives: Running and Adventures

Running top ten lists

Favourite road marathons

  1. New York City
  2. Boston
  3. Valley of Fire
  4. Vancouver
  5. Victoria
  6. San Francisco
  7. Yakima
  8. Winthrop
  9. Bellingham Bay
  10. Whidbey Island


Favourite shorter trail marathon and ultras

  1. Fat Dog 50K
  2. Mt Robson Trail Marathon
  3. Frosty 50K
  4. Angel’s Staircase 60K
  5. Beacon Rock 50K
  6. Gorge Waterfalls 50K
  7. Kneeknacker 50K
  8. Orcas Island 50K
  9. Deception Pass 50K
  10. Yakima Skyline 50K 

Favourite long ultras

  1. West Highland Way 95M
  2. Western States 100M Endurance Race
  3. Cascade Crest 100M
  4. San Diego 100M
  5. Death Race 135K
  6. Vancouver 100K
  7. Haney2Harrison 100K


Favourite running adventures

  1. Grand Canyon R2R2R: Bright Angel, N. Kaibab, S. Kaibab
  2. Wonderland Trail (over 3 days)
  3. West Coast Trail
  4. Zion: west rim traverse
  5. Mount St. Helens circumnavigation
  6. North Coast Trail, Vancouver Island
  7. Bryce Canyon: south to north
  8. Zion: east rim: all trails
  9. Juan de Fuca Trail
  10. Uclulet to Tofino


Favourite Rainshadow Running races

  1. Angel’s Staircase 60K
  2. Beacon Rock 50K
  3. Gorge Waterfalls 50K
  4. Orcas Island 50K
  5. Deception Pass 50K
  6. Yakima Skyline 50K

Not yet done: Sun Mountain; Oregon Coast


Kennedy Falls

Secret for CFA runners: if you haven’t discovered the west side of Lynn Creek yet, the trails have been greatly improved and marked. East off the first switchback length of old Mountain Highway, the very runnable Big Cedar trail leads to this glorious giant after about 3K. After that, west and uphill and then soon again due north, traversing the slope again, to arrive at the spectacular and seemingly endless cascades of Kennedy Falls less than 1K later. The entire trip is reasonably runnable. In years before, the trail to the falls was a gnarly mess, but it has been greatly improved and flagged.

The only challenging bit was proceeding on from the falls. We intended to go the the next major creek, Wickenden Creek, and then down to Lynn Creek. As it turned out, there was no immediately convenient spot to cross Kennedy Creek (we first tried upslope, to discover a side cascade, but no obvious crossing spot), so we stumbled down the south side of Kennedy Creek before leaping across at a somewhat dicey spot. In lower waters, the exercise would be easy, I suspect. From the north side, we bushwhacked NE, joining Wickenden Creek near its confluence with Lynn Creek. Then an easy and refreshing fording of Lynn Creek, to the east side, and then a short upslope scramble to join the well-trod Lynn Headwaters/Cedar Mills trail. Much recommended.

they bluff with scorn Suicide remarks are torn

Five short companions and I conquered Suicide Bluffs, the newest addition to the Bagger Challenge.

Although not marked on official Mt Seymour trailposts, and cautioned on various maps as an “undeveloped route”, the route is easy to find.

Two approaches: north of the Dog Mountain terminus (trail easy to find; leads to three steep climbs to the three highest bluff viewpoints); and off the main Seymour Mountain Trail, in a clear trail past a boggy tarn before Brockton Point.

The trail makes a good loop trail with the ‘official’ Dog Mountain trail. The quick-and-dirty approach is an out-and-back via the Seymour main trail. The longer and more satisfying climb goes via Dog Mountain, past pleasant views of Vancouver, the Seymour River valley, Cathedral, Grouse and other peaks, multiple small murkish lakes, bolete mushrooms, and some impressive old-growth cedars and Douglas Firs.

The peak is the second peak, immediately north of Second Lake.

It is not an easy climb for children, but my companions (those on foot aged 8 to 12) survived with minimal grumbles, with pride and joy at the viewpoints. There are fearsome cliffs at the north side of the peak, into the Suicide Creek Valley, that children should not approach.

Running the Wonderland Trail around Mt Rainier

For those who have run the Grand Canyon, West Coast Trail, and TransZion run, and are looking for the next epic trail running adventure, the 93-odd-mile Wonderland Trailaround majestic Mt Rainier is a must-do stunner.

Although some have run the trail in one shot, it would be a shame to miss any segment of its scenery to the dark, and its ten-odd volcanic ridge climbs and descents would make a single running damned hard. We ran it over three days which was about perfect.

We started at Mowich Lake, in the NW corner, closest to Vancouver and Seattle, and we would endorse this start point.  From Mowich, you must make an immediate decision as to the first 9-mile segment: be a purist and follow the formal Wonderland Trail, or take the alternative Spray Park route, which is about the same difficulty and distance, but at higher altitude, taking one through alpine meadows and past waterfalls. We voted Spray Park, and did not regret it.

First campsite: White River (NE). Second campsite: Cougar Rock (SE). Both are excellent, and located near roaring glacial streams which drown out noise and provide a rejuvenating and frigid post-run soak. For the second night, one could continue down just over a mile to Longmire, a major campground.

To praise the epic beauty of Rainier and its environs, and the perfect single-track of most of this trail, and the acres of wildflowers, and the craggy peaks, and the massive glaciers, and the swinging bridges, and the old growth forest, and the churning glacial rivers, and the drapery of waterfalls, and the views of Mounts Baker, Adams, Hood and St Helens in the distance, and the reflective lakes, and the roaming bears and mountain goats, and, and, and, and, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Resources: an useful new book here, and an useful online guide here.

Everyone in CFA and all trailrunners should bookmark the website of, run by Matt Gunn, the race director of the Zion 100M. Matt is a great and amiable fellow who organises these epic runs, with shuttle services, logistics, and meals provided. I would heartily recommend his services: this was the first year, and he had the logistics nailed, and made what would be a horrible logistic nightmare into an epic, simple, and fun reality. Scope out his website and drool over the adventures: Rocky Mountain National Park, TransZion, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Muir Trail: wow.


For baggers keen to explore other nearby trails, Dick Culbert has sent in this very cool trail development on the Sunshine Coast:



A well marked trail system trail system has now been established from the Langdale Ferry Terminal on the Sunshine Coast to the summit of Mt. Elphinstone. 

A trail to the summit of Mt Elphinstone (1266m., 4153 ft.) above the Langdale ferry landing on the Sunshine Coast was opened in 2010.  The main trailhead may be reached from the ferry by following traffic straight up the divided highway known as the Bypass.  At the top of the hill, where traffic turns left down to the town of Gibsons, turn right instead.  The road promptly ends in a “T” junction with both arms gated.  The trailhead and parking is before the gate on the right.

The Elpinstone Summit Trail is defined by yellow markers, and runs almost entirely through mature forests until the open summit ridge with good views.  For safety reasons, the trailhead sign suggest eight hours return, but most parties in summer will find six sufficient.  Two hours should be added, however, if walking up from the ferry.  For those wishing to come across as a foot passenger (recommended on summer weekends) and have little appetite for trudging 3 km. up the open, busy Bypass Highway, a bypass-bypass route has been established with pink markers.  From the entrance to the ferry lot, walk 200 meters north up the coastal highway to Warf Road.  The route starts from the top of this and joins the summit trail just above the main trailhead.

The British Columbia Ultra and Trail Running Record: First and Fastest

It is about time that I updated this list of epic awesomeness: first and fastest running adventures; and milestones of ultra running races (at bottom).

Post your updates, additions, and corrections or send them to David Crerar at jeldac99 ‘at’


This is a project that I’ve been thinking about for a while, and that I decided to put together yesterday as I slopped through the mud of the Juan de Fuca Trail.

In the interests of brevity, I’ll limit the list to trail runs of ultra distance or trails that otherwise feel like ultras due to their elevation change (hello, Howe Sound Crest Trail!).
Please help verify and expand this Record!: send additions and corrections to David Crerar at jeldac ‘at’
May this prompt some epic adventures!
 Robbins (& crew Castillo) after 1-day WCT & JDF run

The British Columbia Ultra and Trail Running Record:

First and Fastest

  • * = also the speed record
Alexander MacKenzie Heritage Trail: 420K: Quesnel – Bella Coola
  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Baden Powell Trail: 50K: Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver – Deep Cove, North Vancouver (Kneeknacker)
  • 1st: Enzo Federico,  Louis Briere, David Brown, Tom Brown, Gavin Cameron, Shane Collins, Rob Hartvikson, Brendan Kennelly 8:30 (24 June 1989) ##
  • Fastest: Aaron Heidt 4:39:52 (11 July 2009, Kneeknacker Race) ##
  • Fastest Female: Ellie Green­wood 5:06:09 (10 July 2010 Kneeknacker Race)  ##
  • Double BP Trail (Vancouver 100K)
o       1st: Mike Wardas & Randy Hunter c. 21:00 (c. 18 June 2000)
o       Fastest: Ryan Conroy 14:54 (5 June 2010, Vancouver 100K) ##
o       Fastest Female: Carolyn Goluza 17:00 (5 June 2010, Vancouver 100K) ##
  • Triple BP Trail (150K)
o       1st: ______ (___)
o       Fastest: ______ (___)
o       Fastest Female: ______ (___)
  • Baden Powell 100M (Triple BP + 10Miles: back to Mountain Highway)
o       1st: ______ (___)
o       Fastest: ______ (___)
o       Fastest Female: ______ (___)
  • Baden Powell 50K winter mostly-snow traverse
    • 1st: Peter Watson: _________ March 2010 *

Chilkoot Pass Trail 53.1K: Dyea, near Skagway, Alaska – Bennett, BC

  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Cowichan Valley Trail: 47K: Shawnigan Lake to Lake Cowichan  Route
  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Galloping Goose Trail: 55K: Johnson Street Bridge, Victoria – Leechtown, Vancouver Island
  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Great Northern Rail Trail: 48K: Salmo to Nelson Route
  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Hesquiat Peninsula Trail: 50K: Escalante – Boat Basin, Vancouver Island
  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Howe Sound Crest Trail: 32K: Cypress Bowl Parking lot – HSCT trailhead near Porteau Cove, Highway 99
  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Indian Arm Trail: 70K: Mount Seymour – Buntzen Lake
  • 1st:  Murray Comley 3 days (18-20 October 2003)*
  • Fastest Male: _____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Juan de Fuca Trail: 47K: Jordan River – Port Renfrew, Vancouver Island
  • 1st: Frank Wolf & Kevin Vallely 6:16 (July 2000)
  • Fastest Male: Shawn Nelson 5:28 (_____2009) ##
  • Fastest Female: Carolyn Goluza 6:50 (_____2009) ##
  • Double JDF Trail 94K:
o       1st: Randy Duncan 18:30 (7 May 2010)*
o       Fastest Female:__________
Mount Edziza Provincial Park traverse: 75K: Buckley – Mowdade Lake
  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Naikoon Trail: 125K: Misty Meadows – McIntyre Bay, Queen Charlotte Islands
  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Nootka Trail: 50K: Ferrer Point – Yuquot, Nootka Island
  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
North Coast Trail/Cape Scott Trail: 60K: Shushartie Bay – San Josef Bay, Vancouver Island
  • 1st: Jeff Hunt & Bob Wall 11:00 (opening day: May 10, 2008)*
  • Fastest Male: Jeff Hunt & Bob Wall 11:00 (opening day: May 10, 2008)
  • Fastest Female:__________
North Shore (of Vancouver) peaks (all) in one year
  • 1st: David Crerar July 4 – November 1, 2009 (44 peaks, Bagger Challenge)* ##
Okanagan High Rim Trail 50K : Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park – Oyama (Philpot Road off of Highway #33)
  • 1st: Aaron Heidt 6:12 (7 November 2009)*
  • Fastest Female:__________
Slocan Valley Rail Trail: 50K: Slocan – Slocan Junction Route

  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Stanley Park Seawall, Vancouver

  • most continuous laps (male): __________
  • most continuous laps (female): __________
Stein Valley Trail: 95K: Fraser River (Lytton) – Lizzie Lake
  • 1st: Frank Wolf & Kevin Vallely & Nicky Hastings 30:00 (August 2000)
  • Fastest Males: Pat Walsh, Randy Rankin, Neil Ambrose  27:30 (August 2006)
  • Fastest Female:__________
Sunshine Coast Trail: 178K: Sarah Point – Saltery Bay, Sunshine Coast 
  • 1st: Ean Jackson: 23:50 (3-4 July 2004)*
  • Fastest Female:__________
Trans-Canada Trail
  • longest continuous run (male): __________
  • longest continuous run (female): __________
Vancouver Island: VI Spine: 700K: North Coast-South Coast: 



  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Vancouver Island: West Coast-East Coast
  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
West Coast Trail: 75K: Port Renfrew (west shore, Gordon River) – Pacheena Bay trailhead, Bamfield, Vancouver Island
  • 1st: ______ & ______ (“two servicemen”: who?) 18 hours (some time before September 1983): ##
  • Fastest: 1. Gary Robbins 10:08 (4 August 2010); 2. Frank Wolf & Kevin Vallely 10:13 (24 July 1997) ##
  • Fastest Female:__________
West Coast Trail & Juan de Fuca Trail: 130K: Pacheena Bay trailhead, Bamfield – Jordan River, Vancouver Island
  • 1st: Gary Robbins 23:40 (4 August 2007)* ##
  • Fastest Female:__________


24-Hour Relay (Easter Seals, Central Park, Burnaby)

  • Farthest distance: Glenn Pace 109.2K (20 June 2009) ##
  • Farthest Female:__________


















British Columbia Runner Ultra Milestones*


100-time ultra finishers  (and first race and  #100 race names and dates)

  • Ryne Melcher: 140 (June 2010) 1st: Make-A-Wish 25-hour April 1995;  100th: Run for the Toad 50k October 2005
  • Gail Forshaw: 121 (June 2010) 1st: Knee Knacker July 1991; 100th: Diez Vista, April 2007
  • Karl Jensen:  133 (June 2010) 1st: Sri Chinmoy 50M March 1992; 100th: Diez Vista 50K April 2008
  • Gail Bazely: 121 (June 2010)
  • Lori Alexander: 114 (June 2010)
  • Moe Boileau: 109 (June 2010)
  • Brian VanOene: 108 (June 2010)
  • Gilles Barbeau: 106 (June 2010) 1st: Kneeknacker June 1999; 50th: Haney to Harrison 2007; 100th: North Shore Enduro 50K May 2009
  • Ean Jackson: 100 (June 2010) 1st: Ultraman Hawaii June 1990; 100th: New Year’s Day Fatass 50K January 2010

50-time ultra finishers (and first race and #50 race names and dates)

  • Bruce Grant
  • Matt Sessions ?
  • Rob Lang ?
  • Sally Marcellus ?
  • Ron Adams ?
  • Al Harman ?
  • Barry Hopkins ?
  • Rob Grant ?
  • John Machray ?
  • Bill Dagg ?
  • George Forshaw: 82 (June 2010) 1st: Knee Knacker in July 1991;50th: _______
  • Rick Arikado: 1st: Knee Knacker 50K July 1992; 50th: Knee Knacker 50K July 2008
  • Glenn Pace: 1st: Knee Knacker 50K, July 2002; 50th: Frosty Mountain 50K, Sept 2009
  • Neil Ambrose 1st: Diez Vista April 2004; 50th: Vancouver 100 January 2010
  • David Crerar: 1st: Dirty Duo 50K March 2003; 50th: Orcas Island 50K, February 2010

50-time 100-mile ultra finishers  (and first race and #50 race names and dates)


20-time 100-mile ultra finishers  (and first race and #20 race names and dates)


  • Karl Jensen: 1st: Western States June 1993; 20th: Bighorn June 2005
  • Gilles Barbeau: 1st: Western States June 2006; 20th: Stormy August 2009


* Entirely honour system, but recommended criteria and definitions of ultra races (no counting training runs, private runs, flash events, non-race adventure runs, treadmill runs, imaginary runs, splitting a 100 miler into two ultras, pacing duties, almost-there DNFs, long bike rides, watching movies about ultras, etc.) can be found at: