Whitehorse runner David Eikelboom roared over the finish line happy to win and looking absolutely miserable.
“It was a hard effort at the end there,” said Eikelboom. “That’s what I wanted to do, just practice that top-end push to see how much I can suffer.”
The pain was worth it. Eikelboom won his fourth straight title at the Mount Lorne Mis-Adventure Trail Race on Sunday.
The 29-year-old finished the roughly 21-kilometre cross-country course in one hour, 10 minutes and 51 seconds, breaking the course record he set two years ago by 1:18.
“I went out way too fast last year and just died on the back. So this year my goal was to go out a little more cautiously and practice a bit of race strategy and I think I was able to do that,” said Eikelboom. “I took it easy through the flats and walked the hill – I didn’t need to hurt myself going up that. And I really turned it on in the last six K. It was really handy that they had the five- and one-kilometre signs because that gave a really good sense of distance of where I was and I was able to push really hard in the end.”
Sunday marked Eikelboom’s fifth time in the race, finishing second in 2012. He used it to help prepare for racing the full-distance in the Yukon River Trail Marathon next month. Eikelboom won the River Trail in 2013 with a time of 3:07:13 and hopes to beat last year’s winning time of 2:59:16, set by friend Logan Roots of Whitehorse.
“I’m happy with how it went today and am feeling pretty good going into the trail marathon,” said Eikelboom, a two-time Yukon cross-country champ.
Ryan Leef finished second at 1:27:32 and Yuta Yamato third at 1:28:39.
For Whitehorse’s Kendra Murray Sunday’s race was nostalgic one.
“I grew up out here, so running on these trails is like running at home,” said Murray. “It’s super nice, I just love the views.
“I started fairly easy and was feeling good so I pushed it pretty hard.”
Murray, who was in the race for her second time, finished in 1:31:19 to be the top female on the day. Her time could be the fastest time by a female in over a decade, coming close to Denise McHale’s time of 1:27:53 from 2005. (Results for a couple years since are missing.)
The 23-year-old is former member of Canada’s national orienteering team, competing at three junior worlds. She is also an elite cross-country skier who represented Canada at the FIS Nordic World Junior/U23 Ski Championships in February, producing three top-50 finishes.
“I’ll do the (Klondike) road relay, but I’m not focusing on the racing aspect for my running,” said Murray.
Peggy Labonte (1:43:37) finished second and Laura Salmon (1:44:59) third.
Last year’s top female, Sue Bogle of Whitehorse, went off course and finished fifth.
Proceeds from the 14th annual Athletics Yukon-sanctioned event went to the Mount Lorne Volunteer Fire Department.
A total of 41 runners took part, down from 44 last year, which was a record for the event.
“Thanks to the fire department and Athletics Yukon. It’s a great event. I love it,” added Murray.
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com
Male (21 km)
1st David Eikelboom – 1:10:51
2nd Ryan Leef – 1:27:32
3rd Yuta Yamato – 1:28:39
4th Joe Parker – 1:30:20
5th Jean-Sebastian Maheu – 1:43:37
6th James Patterson – 1:46:01
7th Ben Yu-Shott – 1:46:03
8th Don White – 1:47:46
9th Jean-Pierre Beaulieu – 1:50:43
10th Ross King – 1:51:07
11th Jason Cunning – 2:01:45
12th Francis Whiteman – 2:02:10
13th Kevin Taylor – 2:45:04
Female (21 km)
1st Kendra Murray – 1:31:19
2nd Peggy Labonte – 1:43:37
3rd Laura Salmon – 1:44:59
4th Aisha Montgomery – 1:47:05
5th Sue Bogle – 1:49:11
6th Nola Pullar – 1:53:56
7th Janet Clarke – 1:54:09
8th Christie Harper – 1:54:14
9th Hayley Henderson – 1:54:21
10th Jennifer Platz – 1:56:21
11th Sonia Seeber – 2:06:51
12th Ashten Staffen – 2:09:54
12th Bethany Savage – 2:09:54
14th Deb Kiemele – 2:15:43
15th Laurie Drummond – 2:19:16
16th Angela James – 2:19:17
17th Audrey Meyer – 2:35:13
18th Tracey Taylor – 2:35:14
Female (5 km)
1st Tammy Kingston – 28:40
2nd Sophie Molgat – 36:29
3rd Constance Lapointe – 36:29
4th Kayla Thomas – 46:11
4th Katherine Smith – 46:11
6th Gabrielle Montomery – 1:04:32
6th Dahlia Lapointe – 1:04:32
6th Maude Molgat – 1:04:32
6th Annabelle Montgomery – 1:04:32
Male (5 km)
1st Dar Breckenridge – 45:48